Grant: Cup win shows spirit of Chelsea

September 27, 2007

New Chelsea manager Avram Grant insists the spirit in his side cannot be questioned, after their 4-0 Carling Cup defeat of Hull.

The victory was Chelsea's biggest outside of London since the days when Claudio Ranieri was in charge, eclipsing anything achieved by Grant's predecessor Jose Mourinho.

Last week's shock departure of Mourinho and Grant's swift ascent into the managerial chair led to questions about the attitude of the players under their new boss.

It was felt Chelsea's array of stars signed by Mourinho would not perform under Grant; yet that was far from the case at the Tigers' KC Stadium as the Blues cruised into the last 16.

Despite all the uncertainty surrounding Grant, the Israeli appeared at ease after the match.

'They are fantastic. I see them in training - you saw them in the game - their attitude is very good,' he enthused of his players.

'That makes me very happy, because it is important for me to know that the club means more to them than anything else.

'The dressing room is very good - you can see it on the pitch. Off the pitch, I believe Chelsea players are 100% committed to the club.

'I want them to be committed to the club, not to me - and after one week I am very happy with their attitude.'

Chelsea also played an enterprising brand of football, at least once 18-year-old Scott Sinclair - one of seven changes following the 2-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester United on Sunday - gave them the lead in the 37th minute.

Two goals in seven minutes immediately after the restart from Salomon Kalou and Steve Sidwell killed off City, the former making it 4-0 nine minutes from time.

'Our target is to score many goals and play attacking, open football - not too open sometimes,' added Grant.

'I want the team to score as much as possible, although I cannot guarantee this.

'But I did like the goals we scored - and I hope we can continue on this basis.

'I want Chelsea to continue playing that kind of football.'

Hull boss Phil Brown identified Chelsea's clinical finishing as the difference between the sides.

He also believes Grant will have no problems in the future if his players continue to perform as they did.

'This game was always going to be about Chelsea and Avram Grant, and when he would get his first win,' said Brown.

'I saw the game at Manchester United on Sunday - and I thought they were very unfortunate to come away with a defeat, even after going down to 10 men.

'But they proved a point. They played for the manager - and they certainly played for the shirt and the club.'