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Page last updated at 06:42 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 07:42 UK

Grant hails vital Chelsea victory


Grant says he does not feel pressured by speculation over his job

Chelsea boss Avram Grant believes his side are still in contention for the Premier League title after their 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.

Chelsea go two points behind Manchester United and he said: "It was a good win.

"We were behind Manchester United from the beginning of the season so it never was in our hands. It is in our hands to do our job and that is what we did."

Afterwards, Grant held a bizarre press conference with the written media where he gave mainly yes-no answers.

Grant has come under severe pressure from the press after Chelsea were held 1-1 at home by Wigan on Monday, a result that dented their title aspirations.

His press conference lasted just five minutes but Grant was reluctant to give anything in the way of expanded responses.

When asked if the win put Chelsea back in the hunt, he answered: "Maybe not", and a question on what pleased him most was greeted with a simple "I don't know".

In the last few minutes it is important to make sure you win the points

Chelsea boss Avram Grant

But he told BBC Radio 5 Live that his side learned from the Wigan result and that it showed as they held on to the three points at Everton.

"On Monday after the game we spoke about how we conceded the late goal," added Grant.

"Even towards the end we were attacking with six or seven players and they scored the equaliser on the counter-attack, but I like it because we want to change the style of the team.

"We controlled the game. We had chances to make it 2-0 or 3-0 but our last pass was a bit sloppy. We scored a fantastic goal though.

"Tonight we wanted to score again to wrap it up, but in the last few minutes it is important to make sure you win the points.


"Despite all the speculation, it's not hard to focus. It's just part of life.

"I have been in life for many years now and pressure is part of it. Journalists who say we are having a bad season are trying to do their job, but maybe sometimes not in the right way."

Grant also revealed that striker Didier Drogba and midfielder Michael Ballack are unlikely to be fit for the Champions League semi-final first leg against Liverpool on Tuesday.

Interview: Everton manager David Moyes

"I am not sure they will play because they did not train," said Grant. "Drogba is doing his best to be well and I hope it will be OK, if not for the first game then for the second. Ballack is the same so we will have to wait and see."

Everton boss David Moyes admitted his side had not done enough to win the game.

"It was not a good night for us and we didn't play well enough to win the game," said the Scot.

"We hung in there to get something out of the game and a point would have been a good result.

"We have been in a good position for a long time now so it would be disappointing if we don't get fifth place, so we must focus and make sure we get that now.

"We've been on a really good run but we have found it difficult recently and we could have done with picking up a few more points."

see also
Everton 0-1 Chelsea
17 Apr 08 |  Premier League
Everton 0-1 Chelsea as it happened
17 Apr 08 |  Premier League

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