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I think we must trust Hilario. He looked sharp against Fener in spite of having played just 5-6 times before in the season. Having said that, we cannot go against Wigan thinking about closing the game if we go one up. We have to kill the game off as early as possible.

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i said after the fener game that we have the best goalkeeping squad in world football. cech is in the top5 keepers, carlo is an exceptional keeper and hillario probably the best 3rd choice keeper going. his kicking isnt that good, but he is an excellent shot stopper. and playing behind the defence we have must help.

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actually we have lost only once,

when he was between the post! icon_wink.gif

Fri, 11th Apr 2008

Having been waiting in the wings since January for his sixth appearance of the season, Hilario admits it was with mixed emotions that he was called into duty this week, but is determined to make the most of his time on the pitch.

As third choice goalkeeper, the 32-year-old has been a model of professionalism since he arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2006, filling in heroically in the absence of numbers one and two, Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini.

His first appearance of this campaign came back in December at Blackburn, replacing Cech who had suffered a hip injury. His stint then lasted five games, culminating in the Carling Cup semi-final victory at Everton, but he was called back again on Tuesday after Cudicini suffered a hamstring injury against Fenerbahçe.

The Portuguese explained that it can be difficult being so patient, but he can draw on plenty of experience to get him through, as well as the added spur of playing his football at a top club.

'It is really hard when you spend almost a year without playing, but I have experience and to play now is my reward,' he said.

'When I am not in the team I still have motivation because I play for Chelsea, and that is the biggest motivation for anyone.'

Indeed motivation is certainly no problem for the man who made his Blues debut in goal against a Barcelona side containing the combined talents of Messi, Ronaldinho and Eidur Gudjohnsen, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory last season.

Since then he has made 24 appearances in our colours, 22 as a starter. Of those he has won 17, drawn six and lost just one.

'It is a good record, but I think it is important to put the team first in this place, and worry about my performance after that,' he said. 'If the team wins and my performance is good I am really happy.'

His performances this season (all of them in victories) have drawn plaudits, and many consider his save at Blackburn the pick of the season. He too has been pleased with his game.

'Yeah, I feel happy about that,' he smiled. 'It's not very easy when you have these kind of opportunities, it is good when you play but you have a bad feeling that it is your friend and you are playing instead of him. It's not so nice.'

Indeed there are few groups at Chelsea more close-knit than the goalkeeping trio, who spend hours together each day with goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon refining their performance.

With two days off in midweek following the Champions League victory, Hilario, like his colleagues, was happy to be back on the training ground preparing for Monday's clash with Wigan.

'I spent my two days off in Portugal and we didn't speak, but we came in to train today (Friday), and they are okay, working hard to get fit again,' he said.

His presence guarantees they need not complete their rehabilitation with quite so much urgency.

Tickets are still available for our home game against Wigan on Monday. Click here for details. The game can also be followed live on Chelsea Plus.

We are 2/9 favourites to win the game, with Hilario 2/5 to keep a clean sheet.

http://www.chelseafc.com/xxchelsea18070 ... le_1287751

won all the games this season!


24 appearances, 22 as a starter.

Won 17

Drawn six

Lost just one

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