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Branislav Ivanovic on Chelsea's struggles: 'We have to wake up'

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Jose Mourinho was not the only Chelsea man to speak after yesterday's debacle at Goodison Park.  Everyone's favorite right back, Vice-captain Branislav Ivanović was flagged down by Chelsea TV for a quick post-match chat as well.

The footballing embodiment of the speak softly but carry a big stick policy (though it's more of a tiny nerf stick nowadays), Ivanovic has been the most visible of Chelsea's all-too-visible struggles this season, but he remains one of the biggest leaders in the squad and whether on the pitch or in the dressing room, we'll need him to salvage something positive out of this horrendous start.

"We need one big win to [get] back to our ways. We need to start thinking about the next game. Next game is very important for us because it's a new competition and it's time to change this situation."

"We have not played that badly as what the results [are] showing ... but we have to wake up."

In a strange way, having more games coming up could prove a blessing.  A win against Maccabi Tel-Aviv would never quite qualify as "big" but it would certainly be a start.  And it would give us something to feel good about before the big weekend clash against Arsenal.  Win that one, and we might even be alright.

"... the only thing we can do, and what we can change is to work hard and be ready like for the next game like [it's] our last game.  ...we have to play like it's a final and this is the only way to change [our results]."

Not often do you get the old cliche of treating every game as it's your last, as if it's a Game 7, as if it's a final so early in the season, but that's what Chelsea's season has come to already.  The next game is a must-win.  (And and all parallels with Rosenborg must be avoided.)  The game after that is a must-win.  And the game after that as well, probably, even though it's just the League Cup.  Every game is a cup final for the foreseeable future.

"The most important thing in this moment is to be a team in every situation, in every moment of the game, and this is what we can improve and what we have to improve."

The day Ivanovic gets dropped from the starting lineup will be a minor day of celebration for many, but regardless of who plays in his stead, the team must maintain belief in each other, in the system, in the leadership.  Mourinho spoke of a crisis of confidence, and the longer that's allowed to fester, the harder it will be to snap out of it.

This is the fiery crucible in which heroes are forged.  Time to wake up, step up, put up.