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Ivanovic: Hurting but staying together

In the wake of our defeat at Arsenal, Branislav Ivanovic stressed the team will come out of this difficult period stronger as long as they continue to stick together and trust their ability.

The defender, captain yesterday in John Terry’s absence, acknowledged we began poorly in north London, but he was encouraged by what was said in the dressing room afterwards.

‘We didn’t start the game in the way we wanted,’ Ivanovic said. ‘We didn’t believe in what we were doing at the beginning and we were punished.

‘As a team we didn’t answer anything the manager asked of us, we have to be honest with ourselves and put more attention on the small details. We have to be more focused and concentrated on the game.

‘I know it’s very disappointing and it hurts all of us, but the opinion of everyone in the dressing room was in the same direction. We have to build on that, stay together, work hard, and believe in what we are doing. I am sure we can come out of it stronger. We have to stick together.

‘Nothing in life or in football comes easy, you always go up and down, but we know when you’re in a difficult position you have to work hard and prepare for the next game. I hope we are mentally ready for the challenge.’

Our next assignment is at Hull City on Saturday and Ivanovic is already looking to that test as a chance to put things right and show what we are capable of, as we did in the opening weeks of the season.

‘In this league every game is a different story, but it doesn’t mean you have to change your philosophy if you win or lose a game.

‘We have worked very hard on different ways. Our way of playing has changed a bit and you always need time. In the last two games it has not been the usual Chelsea way, but if it starts working it will be very good for us. We will be very, very dangerous.

‘We have another week to prepare for a very hard away game. We know how difficult it is to play a team with a different shape to yours. We have to work hard but this is something normal. We have to be on top of our game and our performances week-by-week to get points from every game.

‘We have to believe in what we are doing and the results of that will come.’