The Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has said that the fractious relationship between certain players and manager Andre Villas-Boas must be put aside for the good of the club if they are to rescue their season.
The Serb admitted that confidence was low in a Chelsea squad that were beaten 3-1 to Napoli on Tuesday in their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie and have now not won any of their last five games. Ivanovic said that it was the "hardest moment" in his four years at the club.
"Everybody has to still believe, try to do the right things," he urged. "I don't know what the manager is saying. But I think this is more about Chelsea. More important than the relationship between managers and players. Chelsea has to be first for everybody, first for everyone, to get a result.
"The manager who decides who plays is doing his job. We have to do our job. We have to, every person, have to use every minute on the field when they get the chance. Everyone has to think like that and try to make this position better. Because we have a lot of things wrong. But this is Chelsea. We have to solve these things."
"We haven't won a lot of games and the confidence is not in the best way. But it is only by working hard and trying to do things well, keep going and be positive. This is the way to get through this critical period. Everybody will be right and we will get the reward for the hard work."
Gary Cahill, who made his Champions League debut in Naples, said that Chelsea had failed, at times, to deal with the "route one ball". He said: "It's a sticky situation at the minute, and I've come in probably at the thick of it. But as soon as we get results we'll turn the corner."
Cahill insisted he was "ridiculously disappointed" with the whole night. "Disappointed with the result, the night, the Champions League debut. So it was a pretty low night for myself, actually," he said.
"It started off brilliantly," Cahill added. "We were frustrating them early doors, they made a mistake and we got the goal. For some reason, it seemed really open after that instead of really solid."Reuse content