Drogba hails team spirit

Chelsea ace thrilled with team's superb start

Drogba: Class act

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Didier Drogba insists character and spirit are the key factors behind Chelsea's success this season.

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"The spirit between the players is fantastic. This is one of the reasons why we are playing so well at the moment."

Didier Drogba

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The Blues are riding high at the top of the Premier League table while their midweek 2-2 draw at Atletico Madrid means they have qualified for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League.

Although Chelsea have a new manager this term in the shape of Carlo Ancelotti, Drogba believes continuity within the squad means that they are stronger than ever ahead of this weekend's clash with Manchester United.

Experience

"We changed the manager, but we still have the same players and I think we have more experience and we know each other more," explained Drogba.

"The spirit between the players is fantastic. This is one of the reasons why we are playing so well at the moment.

"More than the goals, the character and spirit we are showing is important. Of course, you need character to play against United."

After being hampered by knee injuries over the past two years Drogba is back to his best this season and proving his worth on the pitch with nine Premier League goals so far.

Chelsea colleague Florent Malouda, who played with Drogba seven years ago with Guingamp, insists the Ivory Coast ace knew back then that he was destined for stardom.

Leader

"Even at Guingamp, Didier was a leader, rallying the team in the dressing-room," explained Malouda. "For as long as I have known him, Didier has believed in himself.

"Even when he was playing in the French second division for Le Mans, he was dreaming of great success and was preparing himself for it - so I'm not surprised by what he is doing now.

"Even though he is now at the highest level, he is working harder and harder every day.

"Along with John Terry and Frank Lampard, he is one of Chelsea's world-class players. And, when he is playing like this, every team has to fear him.

"He is really happy. He's enjoying his form at the moment because he is training very hard, harder than ever. And he is fit.

"He had some rest because of the ban and now he is back in the competition and he is scoring a lot of goals. He has always believed in himself."