(Reuters) - Swansea City assistant coach Claude Makelele retains fond memories of his successful spell as a Chelsea player but the Frenchman will temporarily sever ties with the London side when his current team face the Premier League leaders on Saturday.
The former Chelsea and France midfielder Makelele spent five years at Stamford Bridge, winning two Premier League titles along with two FA Cups and a League Cup success among his 217 appearances.
“Chelsea gave me a lot in my career. Now I go there not as an enemy, but as an opponent who works for a different club. The fans of Chelsea understand I am on a different side now,” Makelele told the Welsh club’s website (www.swanseacity.net).
“But I can’t and won’t forget my time there. I see two clubs -- Real Madrid and Chelsea -- as my home. I am happy to go ‘home’ on Saturday. But my focus now is with Swansea, and hopefully we will get a good result there.”
Swansea have won four of their last six league games, a run of form which has propelled the club from the depths of the Premier League up to 15th, four points ahead of the bottom three with 13 games remaining.
“It will be a difficult game. To win at that stadium is very difficult -- it’s one of the most difficult places to win in the Premier League,” Makelele added.
“Forget about the table -- that’s the first thing (manager) Paul (Clement) will tell them.”
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru