Ivanovic - No Avram grudge
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic insists he has no ill feeling towards Avram Grant.
By Carla Hilton
Last Updated: 15/05/10 3:27pm
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic insists he has no ill feeling towards Avram Grant as he prepares to help the Blues towards an historic double at Wembley.
Ivanovic is fighting fit for Saturday's FA Cup final and hoping to figure against his former boss with whom he never had the strongest of relationships.
The 26-year-old barely figured during Grant's brief stint in charge at Chelsea but has gone from strength to strength under Carlo Ancelotti.
He admits that was the most difficult time of his career but insists he bears no grudge towards his former boss.
No ill feeling
"I have no ill feeling towards Avram but at that moment I was really angry," said Ivanovic.
"I understand him now because I couldn't change a lot of things in that moment."
Ivanovic joined Chelsea in 2008 from Lokomotiv Moscow but was hindered throughout his first campaign with lengthy injuries.
Even at full fitness, though, he appeared to be overlooked under Grant's regime.
"When I arrived it was difficult for a lot of reasons," he said. "I had come from the Russian league when there was a break between seasons.
"I was not ready to play. I needed time to be able to get used to the training, the play and everything about the club.
"But after that I picked up an injury and when I returned it was near the end of the season and every game for Chelsea at that stage was important.
"The squad was very strong and they were trying to get to the Champions League final. They were also involved in a very tough title race with Manchester United, like it was this year. However, it was the most difficult time in my career."
The Serbia defender admits he came close to leaving Chelsea when things were not going too well.
He said: "I don't think you can find a player in the world who is happy when they're not playing.
"This is normal, it's a human thing. You think you deserve to play but a manager's job is to find the players he wants to play.
"Of course I was very angry. Maybe I was thinking [about it] but that was two years ago. Things have changed now. It wasn't in just one day, it changed step by step."
Ivanovic was named in the PFA Premier League team of the year this season for his contributions to Chelsea's title winning campaign.