Scolari: Drogba was no scapegoat

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Luiz Felipe Scolari has denied Didier Drogba was victimised for their defeat against Manchester United.

The Ivorian striker was axed from the squad which beat Southend 4-1 in their FA Cup third-round replay but is back in Scolari's plans for Saturday's clash against Stoke at Stamford Bridge.

The Brazilian coach insisted that the Ivory Coast international, who did not even travel with the squad for the cup tie, was not being made a scapegoat for the United debacle. He said: "The reason he was left out was because it was an option for me. I put this player or that player in the team."

He added: "Didier is not being made a scapegoat.

"His reaction was normal. When you sign a contract at a club, you are first or second choice, the coach chooses.

"My job here is to choose 11 players and the job for the players is to play. Finish.

"I am a victim. I lost 3-0 against United. I and the club. No player is more of a victim than me and the club.

"It is difficult for me because both Nicolas and Didier are very good players but I pick the player I believe is better for Chelsea.

"Drogba is training very well. I am happy with my players - all of them."

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Didier Drogba
Stoke City
Southend United
Manchester United

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