Ivanovic plays Chelsea team card

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Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic insists the player must stick together if they are going to overcome a two-goal deficit in the Champions League last 16.

The Blues suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat against Napoli on Tuesday night, with Juan Mata’s opener cancelled out by goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi (2) and Edinson Cavani.

It means the pressure will be on Andre Villas-Boas’ side when the Serie ‘A’ side travel to Stamford Bridge next month, but the Serbian defender insists good performances in both the Premier League and FA Cup before the European clash can set the Blues up for a turnaround in fortunes.

“The manager is doing his job by choosing the team and we have to do our job by using every minute on the pitch to try to make things better. It's the hardest moment since I've been at the club, confidence isn't the best but all we can do is try to keep doing things positively and get through this difficult period,” he told the official Blues website.

“If everybody performs we can get the rewards from hard work. I don't want to protect anybody or defend anybody but we are a team. When everything was going well and we were doing things right it was because the whole team defended well or the whole team attacked well.

“If we start thinking the defenders are there to defend and the attackers are there to attack, it won't bring us good results.”

The 28-year-old, who has been in west London for four years, has also urged players to step-up and take responsibility in the absence of captain John Terry through injury.

Ivanovic described the England international as one of the most important players in the Blues’ ranks, but insists players are capable of showing the leadership qualities that will be lost in ‘JT’s’ absence.

“John Terry is one of the most important players in our team. I'm not just saying that, it's a fact. He can change things and do everything positive for the team, but if he's out we have to be ready and make the team not feel his absence,” added Ivanovic.

“For us, we have to be more focused on our jobs, it's important we stay together. One of JT's biggest qualities is his leadership when times are difficult. David Luiz is quite young still and it [the Napoli game] was only the third time him and Gary Cahill had played together so they need time, but they can be very good together defensively.

'”One of the small but good things to come out of that game is the away goal, which gives us a chance to believe. One of the most important things is to not concede a goal at Stamford Bridge as it will kill our confidence, we have to play well defensively and we have a good enough squad to score goals.”

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Branislav Ivanovic
Premier League

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