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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 16:17 UK

Grant shrugs off fresh criticism

Avram Grant
Grant has led Chelsea to a Champions League semi-final

Avram Grant insists he is not feeling the pressure and believes his Chelsea side can still win the Premier League.

The 52-year-old was vilified by Blues fans after a 1-1 draw with Wigan left them five points adrift of Manchester United at the top of the table.

Chelsea travel to face Everton on Thursday night knowing only a win will keep alive their title hopes.

"We are still fighting and will keep fighting even if the chances have been against us from day one," Grant said.

"We feel pressure all the time but it is a good pressure - I don't want to live without this pressure," he said.

Grant's position has been under constant scrutiny this season, and many fans are unhappy with his team's performances in recent weeks.

Chelsea are also still in the hunt for the Champions League with a semi-final double-header against Premier League rivals Liverpool on the horizon.

The fans are like us, sometimes we are disappointed also. But most of the time we did a good job

Avram Grant

And the Israeli is confident his side can still win a trophy this season and he also believes he still has the backing of the club's supporters and board

"If the club is not happy with me tomorrow or 10 years from now it is okay. It is a good relationship and that is what it needs to be.

"I need to do my job for Chelsea and that is what is important.

"Nobody told me I had to win a trophy this season but I want to win one. Most of the fans respect what we did for them and we respect what they did for us.

"We took a lot of points with so many injured players and with so many problems. The fans are like us, sometimes we are disappointed also. But most of the time we did a good job.

"I was at the game against Rosenborg earlier this season and heard the booing at half-time - I had never heard that before. But most of the time the fans are behind us. You cannot win every game and I think they know it."


Grant's latest comments came after outburst from compatriot Tal Ben-Haim.

The Israeli defender joined Chelsea in the summer on a free transfer from Bolton, but he has been quoted as saying he would never have signed had he known that Jose Mourinho was to leave, with Grant promoted.

Ben-Haim has featured in 20 games this season, but has not played since the club's 3-1 FA Cup victory over Huddersfield in February.

Before taking any action Grant wants an explanation from the defender.

"It is an internal matter and we will deal with it like this - we know we need to hear from the player first if it is true or not," Grant said.

"I don't think Jose promised Tal Ben-Haim that he would play before John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and Alex but maybe, yes, I will ask Tal.

"It is internal business but in my opinion if the player was wrong we need to deal with it in my way."

see also
Everton v Chelsea
16 Apr 08 |  Premier League
Nevin tips Rijkaard for Chelsea
16 Apr 08 |  Chelsea
We're still in title race - Grant
14 Apr 08 |  Premier League
Chelsea 1-1 Wigan
14 Apr 08 |  Premier League
Kenyon concedes Blues lack style
10 Apr 08 |  Chelsea

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