Branislav Ivanovic completed the full 90 minutes for Serbia in their friendly against the Czech Republic this past weekend as he made his comeback from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him for the last month. While the result was nothing to write home about, and has led to Nemanja Matic questioning the attitudes in the Serbian camp, the Serbia captain and Chelsea vice-captain is confident there are no such issues closer to home, at Chelsea.
"We didn't react well after winning the League trophy last season. The only way to get out of this situation is to win, win and win again. No one has seen anything strange in the team. I don't think any footballer wants to lose a game. It doesn't matter the situation around you, your job is to win, your passion is winning games."
"I think all of the Chelsea players approach the game like that. The players are very honest with each other. We speak a lot, even during the training sessions we try to help and explain things to each other."
Such words are nothing new of course, but they are just talk. We've been waiting for the boys to start walking the walk, too, for some time. Ivanovic does agree that performances have improved and he's hoping to be back and contributing soon as well.
"We have been playing much better in the last few matches. We are starting to look more like last season. The games that are coming up may be some of the most important for us in the season, in terms of the psychology of the moment. We have to show we are back. It was a very difficult start to the season for all of us, now the team are playing better."
"I'm working hard to get my fitness back and I hope I'm going to be at the level I have to be after my injury."
-Branislav Ivanovic; source: Evening Standard
Make you own joke about Bane's "level", but neither Baba Rahman nor Kurt Zouma have really inspired all that much confidence as full backs in the veteran's absence. Ideally, Branislav rediscovers his form from last season, just like the rest of the squad and we go on a nice, long winning run.