Scolari defends Chelsea schedule after thumping Chengdu Blades
Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has defended their busy preseason schedule after a 7-0 victory over Chengdu Blades.
Several senior players are believed to be unhappy after travelling to China, Macau, Malaysia and Russia ahead of the Barclays Premier League opener against Portsmouth on August 17.
But despite making eight changes during the win at the Macau Stadium, Scolari insisted the tour is an important building block ahead of the long Premier League season after only taking over the Chelsea reins less than a month ago.
"Because I am new to Chelsea I need to learn about my players. I have an idea about my players, but I need to work everyday with them to learn more," said the former Portugal coach.
"These games are important for me. If I was able to chose the opposition, I would choose this team at this time in our pre-season.
"I don't not want to play against strong teams because my players are not fully match fit.
"For us, this is match training. We are here not only to play games, but for other things and for me it is better as I build my team for the games in Russia, and after Russia for the first game against Portsmouth.
"Six, seven or eight substitutions in this type of game is normal. If I was at the training ground at Cobham I would do the same against the teams we play there."
Chelsea complete their three-game Asian tour against a Malaysia Select XI in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday before they travel to Moscow to face Lokomotiv Moscow and AC Milan or Sevilla in the Railway Cup at the start of August.
"It was better than the match on Wednesday," Scolari added.
"The players played more freely, they are fitter and in better condition and they moved up one step so I am satisfied with this game."