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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Grant says he is in full control
Avram Grant
Grant took over as Chelsea boss from Jose Mourinho
New Chelsea manager Avram Grant insists he will be his own man after taking over from Jose Mourinho.

Grant, 52, said Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would not interfere in the football side of the club, despite his breakdown in relations with Mourinho.

Grant, who was the club's director of football, said his goal was to win titles with attractive football.

"I'm a person of my own. I've taken all my decisions in football on my own. If we lose, it's down to me," he said.

"I have full respect for what Jose Mourinho did in the past and I want to follow this success and make things of my own.

"But football is also entertainment. We need to win games and win trophies but we need to play positive football."

Mourinho stepped down by mutual consent and was quickly replaced by Grant, who will continue to work with Steve Clarke as assistant manager.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck denied that Israeli Grant was appointed because he was a personal friend of Abramovich.

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"Roman Abramovich doesn't make important appointments on a whim or because someone is a friend," said Buck.

"He's a very successful businessman and in conjunction with the board this was a thoughtful decision and was based on merit.

"When we offered this job to Avram on Wednesday he wanted assurances that he was his own man and he was in charge of the team.

"Myself, Peter [Kenyon], Eugene [Tenenbaum, Chelsea director] and Roman Abramovich were all in the room and we all agreed 100% that he is in charge."

Chief executive Kenyon said the last six months had been difficult as the relationship between owner and manager deteriorated, but denied that interference from Abramovich had led to Mourinho leaving.

He said: "I've been involved in every transaction since Roman and Jose came together and there has never been a point where we have bought a player without the (manager's) full approval and knowledge.

"There has never been a point where we instructed our first-team coach to play a player or play a player in a particular formation. It is so far fetched that that concept would work with any coach I would know."

The players came out before training this morning and made it clear they are supportive of moving forwards

Peter Kenyon
Abramovich and Mourinho are said to have fallen out over the purchase of Andriy Shevchenko and the manager's subsequent handling of the 31m forward.

But Kenyon added: "Shevchenko was purchased on the back of a decision by the owner, the board and the manager."

Buck admitted that Grant's record did not compare with Mourinho's, but said: "It is very important in a relationship between a manager and an owner that there is mutual confidence over the vision, strategy and approach of a club.

"Avram's vision is in tune with ours and we think he can take the club forward."

Grant has yet to be offered a formal contract but Kenyon insisted the appointment is on a permanent basis.

Chelsea's first test under Grant comes on Sunday when his side travel to Old Trafford to meet reigning Premier League champions Manchester United.

SEE ALSO
Kenyon rules out Chelsea exodus
21 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Mourinho issues warning to Grant
12 Jul 07 |  Chelsea
Grant given position at Chelsea
08 Jul 07 |  Chelsea


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