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Chelsea captain Azpilicueta accepts fighting James for starting spot

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is happy to battle Reece James for a starting place.

Despite playing second fiddle to Reece James for the opening few games, the skipper has nothing but praise for the young right-back and fully respects the decision of manager Frank Lampard.

"The competition with Reece is very strong," Azpilicueta told the club's website. "As I have said before, this is Chelsea and you have to fight for your place in the team along with many other good players. This has been the same since I arrived here in 2012.

"Reece is a fantastic boy, he's a huge talent and he has lots of quality. I'm happy to try to help him and the team wherever I can. It's a huge challenge every day to work hard, prove yourself and fight for your place in the team. I want to play as much as possible, that is my target, but of course I want to help the team first and foremost.

"Of course, every player wants to play every single game but we have to respect the decision of the manager and just know that everyone in the squad will have their chance through the season. I didn't start the first few Premier League games, but I came on against West Brom and then played against Crystal Palace.

"When you get your chance, you have to take it and make it difficult for the manager to leave you out. I think having that strong competition that we have here is key and is what is needed for the club to improve and develop."

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Paul Vegas

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