Ivanovic - We have to believe
Branislav Ivanovic has urged Chelsea to maintain their good form and enjoy the same sort of revival as when Guus Hiddink replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Last Updated: 15/03/12 6:33pm
Branislav Ivanovic has urged his Chelsea team-mates to maintain their good form and enjoy the same sort of revival as when Guus Hiddink replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2009.
The Blues have improved their level since Andre Villas-Boas was sacked earlier this month, with Roberto Di Matteo guiding the club to a famous UEFA Champions League victory on Wednesday night after being named interim manager.
Ivanovic wrote his name into Stamford Bridge folklore with the winning goal against Napoli and he sees parallels between what Di Matteo is starting to achieve and the success that was masterminded by Hiddink three years ago.
Hiddink lost just one match at the helm as Chelsea won the FA Cup and were controversially denied a second successive Champions League final appearance.
Like three years ago, the Blues are in danger of failing to qualify for next season's competition, and Ivanovic said: "When it's something new, you try to do everything, try to change the season.
"The same thing happened when Scolari left the club. We tried to do everything and I think this is quite a similar situation like that one."
Hiddink quickly rebuilt the confidence shattered under Scolari and Di Matteo looks to have done the same since Villas-Boas' exit.
Ivanovic added: "We have to believe. We have to play a lot of games like this at a good level, good intensity, show good football, to deserve some trophies.
"It's going to be difficult. This is only one game and we will try to do everything."
Di Matteo has also embraced the old guard, who were sidelined at times by Villas-Boas and they responded in midweek, with Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard scoring goals.
"John gave the maximum," Ivanovic said of Terry, who limped off in extra time in what was his second game since his remarkable recovery from knee surgery.
"He was injured and, three weeks ago, he was lost for this game.
"He was great and scored as well and Didier was fantastic, was like an animal on the pitch - Frank as well.
"Everybody was good and that's why it got the result for us."
Reports suggest there will be a mass clear-out of older players this summer but Ivanovic warned: "I cannot agree age makes you 'old' or 'young'. It depends what you give on the pitch.
"I think they are giving at the moment their best on the pitch."