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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 September 2007, 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK
Grant encouraged despite defeat
New Chelsea manager Avram Grant
Grant watches his side slip to a defeat at Old Trafford
New Chelsea boss Avram Grant revealed he has been delighted with his players' attitude, despite his first game ending in a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Chelsea's preparations for the trip to Old Trafford had been dogged by rumours of a players' revolt following the midweek departure of Jose Mourinho.

But Grant said: "With everything that has happened, I'm happy with the way they have behaved.

"It was a shock to everyone, including me, but they have responded well."

Grant saw his team go down 2-0 against United but was unhappy with some of the key decisions in the game.

Carlos Tevez headed United in front deep into first-half stoppage time and the dismissal of Mikel Jon Obi in the 32nd minute was a significant turning point.

"We were playing well until Mikel was sent off and the game changed then," added Grant.

I saw in the game and at the hotel, the players are more than OK and are trying to do their best on and off the pitch

Chelsea boss Avram Grant

"It seemed the wrong decision and it was also wrong that United scored in the third minute of injury time when the referee said there would only be two."

The game was over for Chelsea when Louis Saha scored from the spot after he had tumbled under an innocuous challenge from Tal Ben Haim.

But the Blues' obvious frustration could be seen as a sign of their desire to respond to their current situation and Grant was impressed by his side's attitude.

"I have been happy with the support of the players," he insisted. "I have only been with them for three days and as a manager I am happy.

"I saw in the game and at the hotel, the players are more than OK and are trying to do their best on and off the pitch.


"The only thing we can do is to work hard to put the team in the place they deserve to be. Chelsea have a good team but it is easy to say."

United assistant Carlos Queiroz conceded the dismissal of Mikel turned the game but felt his side were worthy winners.

"It was a great result but it felt like two games - one before the red card and one after - but before then I felt we played probably our best football of the season," he said.

"We deserved to be leading when the red card came and Chelsea then became more compact and invited us to attack and make a mistake.

"But we were patient and clever and never got frustrated as we knew we had the three points in our pocket."

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