Branislav Ivanovic has revealed that the Chelsea squad are aware of their mistakes in last weekend’s clash with Arsenal, and the defender believes that the side are strong enough to bounce back and deliver an immediate response.
The Blues lost to Arsenal 5-3 in a match which Andre Villas-Boas' side were favourites to win, and while the former Porto boss admitted yesterday that the last week had been tough on the club, the manager insisted that his side would be sticking to their attacking philosophy.
And Ivanovic believes that Chelsea now have to show their strength of character, and not stage a repeat of last season where they suffered a large slump in form that cost them the title.
"We didn't play like we should," he said.
"It was a tough game and I think there were a lot of reasons for the manager to be angry, but not only the manager. The whole team were angry and we have to show a reaction, to show character, and change things in our side for us."
Rumours were circling yesterday that Villas-Boas had launched a tirade at the Chelsea squad after the final whistle against the Gunners, and Ivanovic confirmed that talks took place to figure out exactly where the squad went wrong against Arsene Wenger's side.
"Between us, there's always good communication and good chatting after the game,” he explained. "Straight away, we knew where we went wrong.
"The words don't need to be [explained] because every one of us has to look in the mirror and be honest about how we played defensively.
"We know how we made mistakes and how we plan to do things better. We have to be fully concentrated for the whole game and be strong for 90 minutes.”
While Chelsea’s defensive line-up suffered on Saturday, conceding the most goals for the club since December 1989 (2-5 v Liverpool), Ivanovic said it was a collective failure rather than invidual problems that needed to be corrected.
"When you're talking about the defence, you never talk about personal mistakes. In football, that can happen,” he said.
"We're talking about our game defensively. The whole team defends, the whole team attacks. In some moments, we lost some concentration. We weren't fully concentrated and things happened that we didn't want to happen, and that changed the game psychologically.
"This could be one of the most important things in our season after this game: a great reaction of the group would be good to show how we are strong."