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Man Utd rue failure to land Kompany

Manchester derby 2 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Sep 28, 2007

Grant looks for all-out attack against Fulham

Avram Grant is set to unleash all-out attack on the Premier League as he prepares to welcome back Didier Drogba.

The 52-year-old Israeli coach revealed he wants the Blues to play with at least five men in attack and their 4-0 demolition of Hull in the Carling Cup was just the beginning of a new era at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's comprehensive victory over Hull put an end to a goal famine under former coach Jose Mourinho and earned them their first win in five games.

Now Grant has promised more of the same as he bids to put his own coaching stamp on Mourinho's men.

Grant declared: 'I think we have a good base and yes I would like Chelsea to play with at least five players in the attack.

'You saw it against Hull, it was an open game, sometimes too open, and we need to keep the balance but we will follow the attacking combination and system that we used against Hull.

'I think the players have tried to do their best since the beginning of the season but sometimes it didn't go well and sometimes there is a problem you need to fix.

'They gave everything they could but if they didn't score there is something we need to do better and that's what we are trying to do.'

Grant's attacking options have been significantly boosted by the return from a knee injury of Ivorian striker Drogba.

Drogba hit 33 goals last season as Chelsea won both the Carling and FA Cups, and his return will add power and pace to the front line.

Grant is delighted that Drogba is the first player to return from the treatment room and, despite suggestions that the Ivorian's future was in doubt following Mourinho's shock exit, the Israeli coach insists the player has been as committed as the rest.

Grant added: 'Didier will be back tomorrow. As a manager or coach, you want all the players to be available but I am very happy he is the first to return out of our injured players.

'After the first day, which was a shock for everybody, I didn't see any player that wasn't focused on the target and 100% to the club, including Didier.

'The spirit has been good from the second day. The players are top professionals and I am sure that will continue.'

Tomorrow's clash with neighbours Fulham will be Grant's first game at home since Mourinho left but he is not worried about the prospect of a backlash from the fans following the managerial upheaval.

Chelsea went 66 games unbeaten at home under Mourinho and Grant is determined that record will continue against the Cottagers.

He added: 'The club for me is the fans. Firstly, we need to get back to winning. We haven't won in the league for a long time. For the fans I can only say good words.

'I was here when they cried when Claudio Ranieri left and they respect very much what Jose Mourinho did for them. I respect them. For them I am unknown but I am in charge now and I will do everything to make the club succeed and that is what is important.

'The record at home is a good one. It is a pressure that I like. It is a pressure that pushes you to be at your best and create things in a good way. It is a good record, I respect it and I want it to continue.'

Chelsea's discipline will also be under extra scrutiny tomorrow after they were charged in midweek with failing to control their players in the 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.

They surrounded referee Mike Dean after he dished out the red card to Mikel John Obi for his tackle on Patrice Evra, but Grant is adamant his players did nothing wrong and accused United's players of putting pressure on the official.

Grant said: 'In this case, what I saw was that United's players first went to the referee and put him under pressure to produce the red card.

'My players were in shock but I thought they were very sporting. Nobody could understand the decision of the referee. I think he was the only person who understood his decision. Maybe he was under pressure from the United players.

'Our players respect the referee and everybody knows why it happened against United. In this case I don't need to react because their behaviour was okay. I did not criticise the referee. I didn't say he was a bad guy or anything. But in that game, he affected the result, that is a fact. So I stated my opinion in a very, very polite way.'