Luiz: Chelsea can still finish well
David Luiz is convinced Chelsea can end their winter of discontent on a positive note by completing a trophy double.
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32. David Luiz
Chelsea are 19 points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United and they crashed out of the Champions League in the group stages.
Most of the season has been played to the soundtrack of angry supporters chanting reminders to interim boss Rafael Benitez that he is not welcome at Stamford Bridge.
Luiz recognises Chelsea have been poor but he is determined the club can rescue their season by lifting the Europa League crown and the FA Cup.
"I think we are not playing at the level expected from Chelsea and not doing so well this season but in any case I believe we are because we are still competing for three titles," Luiz said.
"We can still win the Europa League, are still in the FA Cup and fighting for a better position in the table so I think we can still get there and this season can still be very good."
Luiz will be in a familiar surroundings tonight when he plays for Brazil against Fabio Capello's Russia at Stamford Bridge.
It will be a special moment for the defender and a special moment for the Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who spent seven months in the Chelsea hot-seat during the 2008-09 season.
Scolari defended his record at Chelsea and insisted he was not given enough time to make his mark at the club.
Chelsea were fourth in the Barclays Premier League and still in both the FA Cup and Champions League when Scolari was sacked in February 2009 after just seven months in the hot-seat.
"I believe my time at Chelsea was not as bad as people have been talking about," Scolari said.
"I don't think (I was given enough time) but it was a decision from the management."
Scolari was sacked by Russian owner Roman Abramovich so the club could "maintain a challenge for the trophies we are still competing for".
Luiz said Scolari is still held in high regard at Chelsea - and suggested he could have a point to prove against Russia.
"Mr Scolari is an excellent professional. He has been a coach in many clubs all over the world and also national teams," Luiz said.
"I'm sure he is happy to come back here because regardless of what happened here he has very good memories.
"He has got history here as well so I believe what he wants here is to put the cherry on the top of the cake by winning the game at the stadium where he was manager.
"When somebody doesn't do well everybody outside always talks about the negatives not positives.
"What I have heard, having asked around, is Scolari had a great time, regardless of what happened."
Russia had their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland postponed in Belfast on Saturday - a decision which Capello fully understood even though it will harm his side's chances.
"Northern Ireland had two really important players suspended. For the next game, they will probably be OK. That is not an advantage for us," Capello said.