‘Champions tag put pressure on us’, says Ivanovic

Chelsea defender makes shock admission

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has admitted the players couldn’t cope with the pressure on their shoulders after being crowned Premier League champions last season.

The Blues had a nightmare start to the season and were sitting 16th in the table by December, which eventually lead to Jose Mourinho getting the sack.

Since them, Guus Hiddink has come in and restored some dignity around Stamford Bridge, taking them to 10th in the league and yet to taste defeat in domestic football.

Speaking about Chelsea‘s woes this season, Ivanovic admitted the players couldn’t cope with the pressure on them after winning the title so easily last year.

Pressure

“Jose told us the hardest season in football is the year after you win because everyone else has extra motivation. We were ready for that, but we didn’t start well and we lost control of our game, of our minds,” Ivanovic told the Daily Mail.

“Jose didn’t change. He didn’t change the way he prepared the game. He didn’t change the way he treated us. He didn’t change anything. He was the same.

“The players were more responsible for that situation than the manager,” he added. “Of course it is difficult in football to change 25 players halfway through the season, but I think at this club if (Abramovich) could have, he would have changed all of us as well.”

Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt

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