Chelsea´s veteran midfielder Claude Makelele has hailed the work of his team-mates for the way they overcame the shock departure of former boss Jose Mourinho last September.

Many people expected the club to struggle without their charismatic leader but his successor, Israeli coach Avram Grant, has led the club on a run of just one defeat in their last 18 Premier League games, a Carling Cup final, the fifth round of the FA Cup and the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

"The club is always stronger than anything else," Makelele told L´Equipe. "It is stronger than the players and stronger than the coach. Even if the club appears to be wrong, they are right."

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