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Mancienne up for Messi role

21 Apr 2009 09:00:23

Mancienne up for Messi role

Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne insists he is ready for the task of marking Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League semi-final with Barcelona. Blues boss Guus Hiddink is considering playing Mancienne at left-back against Barca in the first leg at Camp Nou next week, with first-choice left-back Ashley Cole missing through suspension. Mancienne was switched to left-back for Monday's reserve-team draw against West Brom as Hiddink wanted to try out the England Under 21 international in the role. Hiddink watched Mancienne perform at left-back and the defender is ready to answer the call of filling in for Cole and facing arguably the best player on the planet in the shape of Messi. Boost "It was a new one on me, I've never really played there before. I would love the challenge of facing Messi," Mancienne told Chelsea TV. "The manager came to watch and I was asked to have a go. The manager is keeping his options open. "They told me a couple of days ago I would have a go at left-back and I did ask Ashley a few questions about it. It felt all right." The 2-2 draw with West Brom also saw the return of Juliano Belletti after injury. The Brazilian, who has missed the last few weeks through injury, played for an hour and scored in the game to put himself in contention for a first-team recall.


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