Cudicini ready for Cech role
By Laurent Picard
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini insists he is ready for the challenges ahead.
Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini admits he is pleased by the prospect of being handed more playing time, but insists he is eager for Petr Cech to make a swift recovery.
Following what was a controversial clash at Reading last week, both goalkeepers have found themselves sidelined with head injuries, but it is Cech who has suffered the more serious damage.
It is expected that the talented Czech international will not play for around three months, while Cudicini has pencilled in a game against Sheffield United, on October 28, as a possible return date.
Despite having proven his credentials as a top-class goalkeeper, since Cech's arrival in West London Cudicini has been reduced very much to a peripheral role for the champions - but it is a responsibility he accepts with good grace.
"Of course I am happy to play again, but Petr is first of all a friend, then a team-mate," he told RMC.
"Petr is a little bit slow, speaks good, is okay now, is always cool and funny.
"But he will miss at least three months. I am not scared of knocking somebody down, am not scared of being hit.
"I am okay, no more headaches. I don't know when I will come back, I hope to play against Sheffield United.
"I do some running and exercises with the ball.
"It is a big responsibility but I have played 200 games for Chelsea, so I know the job."
With Chelsea left a little threadbare in the goalkeeping department after events at the Madejski Stadium, speculation has suggested the champions could be ready to invest in a new custodian.
Fabien Barthez and Gianluigi Buffon have both been linked but Cudicini is reticent to engage in speculation about who may be brought in.
"I know about the Fabien Barthez rumour, I have heard about it but it's none of my business, it is the coach's role.
"They are talking about so many goalkeepers, where is the truth? We will see who the manager is going to pick.
"It is not my business, the club decides and they don't have to talk with me.
"Barthez is a very famous and great goalkeeper, a high profile one. I have nothing to say against him.
"When you play for a big club, there is competition for every position."