Grant - My tactics work
Avram Grant believes he has silenced the Blues boo-boys by mastering tactical substitutions to win big games.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 17/05/08 11:43am
Chelsea boss Avram Grant believes he has silenced the Blues boo-boys by mastering tactical substitutions to win big games.
The 52-year-old was taunted by the Chelsea fans in the early part of the season for his decision-making. But with victories over Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United thanks to important team changes - the Israeli coach believes he's finally won over the critics.
"Against Arsenal we brought on Nicolas Anelka and Juliano Belletti and changed the system. We scored two goals to win the game and could have scored more," Grant said.
"Then at Liverpool, in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, we brought on Salomon Kalou and Anelka, and got back into the game.
"With United, we brought on Anelka, Andrei Shevchenko and then Claude Makelele at the right time - after they scored from our mistake.
"In big games, changing the players, or the system, at the right time is one of the best ways to win the game when you know your opponents so well."
The Blues boss has battled to win over a section of the fans and critics, after taking over from Jose Mourinho, but with big wins during the end of this year's campaign, Grant is happy with his side.
He said: "One of the most pleasing things for me this season is that we came to the big games and we won playing good football.
"To come to these games with all the physical and mental pressure and show quality like we did at the right moment made me very happy."
With the all-English Champions League final looming against table-toppers Manchester United, Grant expects Chelsea to go down in the history books and seek revenge after being pipped to the Premiership by their rivals.
"Before the semi-final second leg I said to the players: 'We can talk about history, or we can create history'.
"I am very happy we have reached the final for the first time. To make history is an unbelievable feeling. Now we must go on and win it."