Football: Gullit ready to lead Chelsea into next century

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The Independent Online
Ruud Gullit is ready to sign a new contract to stay as Chelsea manager well into the 21st century - provided chairman Ken Bates can prove the club has a success plan for the next 10 years.

"I haven't signed yet but we are talking about it all the time," Gullit said. "It is not anything to do with money. It is about what Chelsea want and what they expect from me. You have to have a plan, a solid structure."

Gullit insists his future does not depend on Chelsea winning another trophy this season or reaching the quarter-finals of the European Cup- Winners Cup against Tromso at Stamford Bridge tonight.

His Italian striker Gianluca Vialli scored two late goals in a Norwegian snowstorm to reduce Chelsea's deficit to 2-3, which means they start tonight needing only a 1-0 win to go through on aggregate. Vialli said: "I know when I am going to score and I had that feeling over there even though I had played so badly.

"And I already know what is going to happen. I have a feeling - but I am afraid I will not tell you what it is. In Tromso I said to myself: `Luca, you are having a nightmare. You are playing so badly that you must score'. And I did. In fact I improved so much that I scored twice.

"The second goal out there came with just a minute left and I am hoping it will prove very important. We have a hard task because Tromso are a strong side and will give us many problems, but I am confident."

Tromso, despite only just avoiding relegation from the top division in Norway this season, are furious that Gullit has attributed their first- leg victory to the farcical conditions.

Steinar Nilsen, who scored Tromso's first goal and will be playing his last game for them tonight before a move to Milan, said: "He used the snow as an excuse but it was the same for both sides. He seems to ignore the fact that we were the better team and led 2-0 before the blizzards came. Chelsea did not start with the right attitude and only when it was snowing did they look like scoring.

"He gave us no credit and what he said was not what you would expect to hear from a big manager, but we will use his words to motivate us."