Ivanovic eyes winning end to ‘very difficult’ group stage

Branislav Ivanovic wants Chelsea to end a “very difficult” Champions League group stage on a high.

The Blues will finish top of Group E if they beat Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge, potentially leading to a more favourable draw for the next phase.

And they would manage to do so despite losing twice to Swiss side Basel.

Ivanovic, who scored their late winner in last season’s Europa League final, said: “This is a very important game because we have had some defeats in this group.

“We started badly but we have the chance to top the group and we must take it.

“Topping the group was our first aim in the Champions League but there are very good teams in our group and, from the beginning, it has been very difficult for us.

“Steaua are a good team. The game in Romania was very difficult for us and we had to concentrate in that game to get the result. They have great players, they are really offensive, and the full-backs attack.

“So it’s important for us to stay focused 100% in this game and we hope to win.”

Chelsea have conceded a total of six goals in their last two Premier League games and manager Jose Mourinho has admitted his side’s defending is a concern.

But Ivanovic insists the players are working hard to improve at the back.

“We need to build confidence in the defenders game by game, and give stability to the team, and we will do everything we can not to concede,” he said.

“For some of the goals we’ve conceded we have lost our concentration and sometimes that can happen a lot more. We have conceded a few from set-pieces, which is not normal for us.

“But we know how strong we are in this area and we just have to get back to normal and we will try to do the right things.

“As a defender you are always worried when you concede, but we will try to do our best not to against Steaua.”



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