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Last Updated: Friday, 29 February 2008, 18:21 GMT
Grant lashes out at media 'lies'
Avram Grant
Grant took over from Jose Mourinho in September
Chelsea boss Avram Grant has launched a stinging attack on the media for its coverage of his side following their Carling Cup final defeat to Tottenham.

Grant, 52, criticised Chelsea's detractors for inaccurate reporting and a lack of respect for his achievements.

"I respect the media in England - even though you gave me no credit at the beginning, but since then I've heard a lot of lies," said the Israeli.

"You're trying to hurt the team, hurt the club because we lost one game."

Referring to reports of player discontent and allegations that chief scout Frank Arnesen wants Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard as the next Chelsea manager, Grant was unequivocal in his rebuke of the media.

Agents came to football to make things easier for the players. But sometimes they link things to the papers they don't need to and sometimes it hurts the team

Avram Grant

He also hit out at suggestions that were made when he took over as manager, following Jose Mourinho's sacking, that owner Roman Abramovich influences team selection.

"Roman Abramovich has never told me one player that he needs to play, never told me to pick the team this way or that," said Grant.

"I'm in charge. Please, you need to respect my professionalism.

"You didn't behave too nicely. Now I don't respect you too much because we lost one game and you've taken it too far. I don't like it.

"You hurt my players, you hurt the club and this is not the right way."

Grant confirmed that captain John Terry and first-team coach Henk ten Cate were involved in a training ground disagreement prior to the final but insisted the pair made their peace immediately afterwards.

"No team in the world is without fighting," he said. "Sometimes it happens. Everything was okay a minute later. They shook hands, hugged."

John Terry
Grant confirmed Terry's training ground row with Henk ten Cate

Chelsea have lost three times in 35 games since Grant replaced Mourinho in September but critics have pointed out that those defeats came against Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

Only once, against Tottenham in 2006, did Chelsea lose to one of those opponents during Mourinho's reign, while the Portuguese did not lose a cup final during his time at Stamford Bridge.

"If you speak about the last game, we didn't play well and we lost," said Grant. "The other five months, it was okay.

"Sunday was a bad game, a bad day in the life of the team. It happens sometimes. We lost the game but we are fighters and we move on."

When asked about his relationship with the players following the Wembley defeat, Grant replied: "Why didn't you ask that question a week ago?

"Just because we lost one game. I don't want to defend myself about this.

"The spirit is very good in the team. We're sorry about what happened against Tottenham. I'm sorry, but we did a good job in the previous five months."

Grant also rejected reports that some players had been critical of his team selection after the Carling Cup final and accused agents of creating unrest within the camp by leaking incorrect information to the media.


"The players are fantastic," said Grant. "They behave nicely. Don't listen to agents so much.

"Agents came to football to make things easier for the players. But sometimes they link things to the papers they don't need to and sometimes it hurts the team.

"But it's your (the media's) problem. You need to check the facts. Some 95% of what was written didn't happen.

"All the players knew the day before that they were playing. But, if I want to name the team three hours before the game, I'll do that.

"I'll do what I want. Nothing was different to other games. What was different was we lost."

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