Belletti keen to take chance
Juliano Belletti believes he can fill the midfield void left by Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel.
Last Updated: 15/01/10 9:49am
Chelsea's Juliano Belletti believes he can fill the void in defensive midfield left by Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel.
The Blues pair have temporarily departed Stamford Bridge for the African Cup of Nations, leaving Carlo Ancelotti's side light in that area of the team.
But Belletti, 33, is hoping to build on his 11 starts so far this season and insists he is the man to deputise in the African stars' absence even though he is more accustomed to playing at full-back.
"I think now at Chelsea I like to play in midfield because there is so much quality," he said.
"It is not a difficult job for me because the other players have quality and experience, it is easy to work in that position.
"In defence you work hard of course, you are just one player in front of the defence, but with the ball we can do our job, it is simple.
"I played there in pre-season in America and I spoke with Carlo (Ancelotti)after pre-season and said I can help the team, not just as a right-back, but also in midfield in the absence of Mikel and Essien, and at this moment in January the team needs me."
Chelsea are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League and are one point above Manchester United with a game in hand.
Belletti will have the chance to prove himself in upcoming matches against Sunderland, Birmingham and Burnley in the league, and Preston in the FA Cup.