IVANOVIC: TIME FOR FOCUS
Branislav Ivanovic feels we must head into Sunday's game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in better shape than we did against Shakhtar on Tuesday.
We fell behind to a third-minute goal against the Ukrainians in Donetsk, compounding a sluggish start that saw us struggle to get into the contest, which was put to bed when our hosts added a second midway through the second half. Although Ivanovic's surge forward and Oscar's precise finish pulled a goal back in the closing stages, there was no argument that we were second best on the night, and that will simply not do against United.
'We need to improve our concentration and be focused on the whole 90 minutes,' said the defender.
'We conceded from the first chance and it made it much more difficult for us afterwards to play the game we wanted. We have to analyse it and see where we can improve.'
The Blues have received praise for our entertaining and attacking football this season, but this has also left us a little more stretched at the back at times, and Ivanovic has urged his team-mates to remember their roles with a huge weekend in the Barclays Premier League approaching.
'This style is the change of the team and we defend like a team, and the same in attack. This has worked to our advantage and we must carry on but we have to stay compact in this kind of game, and make things easier for our team-mates,' he said.
'This is one of the crucial games for us this season, against Man United, with two difficult games before it. We have time to recover [after Shakhtar] and do well, we know it's difficult to play against United and be we have to be focused for the whole 90 minutes if we want to win it.'