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Didier Drogba hoping to delay call-up to African Cup of Nations


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Didier Drogba admits that he is looking to minimise the amount of time he spends away from Chelsea at the African Cup of Nations.

The striker is expected to join up with the Ivory Coastspacer.gif at the end of December, two weeks before the tournament starts, and may be away from Stamford Bridge for over a month.

However the 31-year-old revealed that he intends to speak to national team manager Vahid Halilhodzic about delaying joining up with the rest of the squad.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelottispacer.gif will no doubt want his star striker, who scored twice against Everton on Saturday, to remain for as long as possible before departing for Angola especially after a run of four games without a win in all competitions.

"I will speak to the national team manager and then try to speak as well with Carlo Ancelotti to find the best deal for us," he said.

"It's going to be difficult to leave, of course, Chelsea are paying my wages, and just for that it's going to be difficult to go - and for a month as well. It's tough.

"But I think they understand we players have no choice. We have to go because we have to represent our countries.

"We want to be here with Chelsea but at the same time we have to go. We are in between, it's a difficult decision to make but we know what we have to do.

Coping well

"The good thing is that the club respects that. They have shown a lot of respect for the African players and I hope my team will be able to cope while we are away."

The frontman was quick to highlight that if the Blues falter while he and the likes of Michael Essien,spacer.gifSalomon Kalouspacer.gif and John Obi Mikelspacer.gif are away he will not be afraid to phone them and say his piece.

"I hope they can stay top of the table. I will follow us from afar and I will give them some phone calls if we lose points."

With Chelsea holding hopes of challenging at home and abroad this term, and Ivory Coast having safely qualified for the World Cupspacer.gif next summer, Drogbaspacer.gif faces a busy schedule but he admits he would not have it any other way.

"It's a lot of football to play but a few years ago I was in the Second Division in France so this kind of season is really exciting for me," he highlighted.

"At Chelsea we are competing for the league and Champions League and FA Cup so it's an exciting season rather than a difficult one."

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Its good to see Drogba so dedicated to Chelsea, quite a contrast to a couple of years ago.

I think Drogba has also been dedicated to Chelsea. He is a confidence player and responds to the attitudes of his manager and his supporters. When things are going right he is first to be commended by the manager and the players love him for his goal-scoring feats. When things are going against us, he is one of the scapegoats, however. He's always tried his best for us; even under Grant and Scolari. Its great that he wants to stay as long as possible, and it'll be brilliant if we can keep him for the Fulham game at home because he's put in some great performances against them in the past.

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