Ivanovic enjoying pre-season shake-up

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Andre Villas-Boas may be the youngest manager in the English top flight, but Branislav Ivanovic believes the early signs look good and is confident Carlo Ancelotti's successor can help bring the team together for this season's trophy challenge.

"A couple of guys have known him a long time but some of us have just known him for a couple of days and the first impressions are very good,' full back Ivanovic continued.

"There has been an interesting dynamic to the first couple of training sessions, and we will have time to get to know him and see what he wants us players to show him on the pitch.

"I think he will give all the players a great opportunity to give their best for the team. Like him, we want to be a better group, a better team. Individually everyone knows we have the quality but we have to work as a team and as a group.'

The Serbian international defender rejoined his teammates at the club's Cobham facility yesterday, and was put through his paces after a month off over the summer.


Traditionally the time of year least enjoyed by professionals, Ivanovic told the official Chelsea website that he expects the opening weeks of pre-season to be tough, but that he's ready for the hard sessions after an enjoyable break in June.

"When you start you know it will be hard work, it is always very difficult in the first couple of weeks to give you everything for a long hard season ahead. Everyone now is at the same level and we will see how it goes," said the Serb.

"Summer was great, I had a good rest, it was a long rest which was really nice and an important thing, but now we have to be ready and preparing for the next season.

"It is normal, even when you are resting, to be thinking ahead about pre-season, but you have to make sure you get that rest and do not work too hard so that you are at full energy for the start of training."

Branislav Ivanovic
Premier League
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