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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 October 2006, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
Mourinho angry as keepers injured
Carlo Cudicini lies prone on the ground
Carlo Cudicini lies on the ground after the injury-time challenge
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has said keeper Petr Cech was lucky to be alive after being knocked out after only 20 seconds of their 1-0 win at Reading.

The Czech international was hospitalised with a head injury after being caught by Reading's Stephen Hunt.

Cech's replacement Carlo Cudicini was knocked unconscious late on but was later discharged from hospital.

Mourinho said: "The Cech one, the challenge is a disgrace. He is lucky to still be alive."

The injuries to Cech and Cudicini mean Chelsea may have to field third-choice keeper Hilario when they play Barcelona in a Champions League Group A game on Wednesday.

Hilario, 31 next Saturday, joined Chelsea on a free transfer last June from Portuguese side Nacional but he has yet make his debut for the Premiership champions.

Hunt, whose boot caught Cech on the head when he went to collect the ball, later insisted he had simply tried to win possession.

He told the club's website: "I was 100% intent on winning the ball. I hope Petr Cech is not too badly hurt and hope he makes a full recovery as soon as possible."

Cudicini came on for Cech but he failed to finish the game after a collision with Ibrahima Sonko which Mourinho accepted was an unfortunate incident.

The game was held up for nearly 10 minutes as Cudicini received treatment and he was carried off with his neck in a brace, wearing an oxygen mask.

The challenge on Cech was unbelievable - the boy was laughing

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho added: "To be angry doesn't help, I'll just wait for the keepers to leave hospital and to get a report on their injuries.

"I have to wait and see what the Football Association will do about it and I'm also waiting to hear what the experts think of both incidents.

"Carlo I think was knocked out as a consequence of the way he hit the ground, but a knee coming at Petr like that, at such speed - the boy was even laughing afterwards.

"It was unbelievable and players should respect each other more than that."

"We are very concerned," added Chelsea skipper John Terry. "They both got knocked out and are fully concussed but we hope they are OK."

Reading boss Steve Coppell said he was confident neither Hunt nor Sonko were deliberately trying to hurt the Chelsea keepers.

"Steve wanted to put Petr under pressure but there's no way he'd want to make contact, I know what he's like," said Coppell.

"And Ibrahima, that one was just Carlo being incredibly brave and everyone trying to get something on the ball.

"I welcome Jose saying the FA should review them. We apologise to Chelsea for the injuries but I still think both players will be vindicated."

Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson said he was disappointed by Mourinho's comments and agreed with Coppell that there was no intent shown by Hunt and Sonko.

"I was sad to hear Jose's comments after the game," Wilson told Five Live's Sportweek programme.

"The first one looked bad because Hunt was trying to move his foot away from Cech but in doing so bent his knee towards his head.

"But keepers expect to get bumps and bruises, it's part of what we do. We don't want to be protected all the time."

SEE ALSO
Reading 0-1 Chelsea
14 Oct 06 |  Premiership


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