June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Paul Lagan, Chelsea correspondent
Monday, August 20, 2012
The Chelsea full back is determined to keep his place
Branislav Ivanovic is confident that Eden Hazard will become a star this season.
The 32m summer signing from Lille in France sparkled as the Blues defeated Wigan Athletic 2-0 at the DW Stadium yesterday.
The Serbian right-back who rammed home the Blues first goal of the season after just two minutes has been up close and personal with Hazard in training and reckons the midfielder is something special.
"I think he is great," Ivanovic said."He had a great performance (against Wigan). He was really the player that we needed in the team.
"But also he is not (just) an individual, he works defensively too. Eden is going to get better and better and we will get even better results with him in the side.
"To be honest, it is very difficult to speak about if he is one of the summer's best signings, but obviously I think everyone in our squad is happy with him and the other guys that have come in.
"Now we just have to get results and play a strong game every time."
Ivanovic has encouraging words for new signings Oscar and Marko Marin.
"They are great," he said.
"During pre-season, they showed they had fantastic quality and put in fantastic performances.
"And we have changed a lot because all of them - they are so creative in their attacking play.
"I think they need a lot of time to adapt to the English way of playing and they need more games too.
"Oscar is great. Of what Ive seen in just a couple of days (in training) I've seen great performances. Hes young and we will get something special with him. I wish them all the best and for success with Chelsea."
No one is taking Chelsea seriously as title challengers, and that suits Ivanovic down to the ground: "Maybe at the moment it is great they think like that," he said.
"But if you want to win the title, and we do, you have to be in the top level every game. You have to win a lot of difficult games.
"I think we have had a great performance against Wigan and showed a great attitude.
"But to win the league, we have to be at the top level every game. Its too early tospeak about the title.
"There is always ambition in our club. We have to play and try to fight for every trophy and every game.
"For this you have to have a big and good enough squad - which we have at the moment. We will see what will happen.
Chelsea has being rumoured to be bringing in a right-back to replace QPR new boy Jose Bosingwa, believed to be Cesar Azpilicueta - a position that could threaten Ivanovics place in the side. But
Ivanovic is unbowed at the prospect and is happy to be playing: "The guys from the club told me (I am playing) and I was a little bit extra motivated by this. And I think I will be all season," he added.
Coming up next for the Blues is the visit of Reading to Stamford Bridge in Wednesday evening.
"Yes, it is is going to be another difficult game," said Ivanovic.
"And the games are coming quickly every three days. You have to recover well and prepare for the next game.
"It will be difficult, but it is good for us because we will get better and better performances - we will have to just try to stay on this high level."