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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 23, 2008

Grant impressed with Chelsea performance

Chelsea boss Avram Grant hailed the consistency and quality of his side after reaching their third Carling Cup final in four years.

The holders completed a 3-1 aggregate win over Everton, with Joe Cole scoring the crucial goal that secured a 1-0 second-leg victory at Goodison Park.

Chelsea now face Tottenham at Wembley on February 24 in the final, Grant's first as boss of the Stamford Bridge club since taking over from Jose Mourinho last autumn.

Grant said: 'Everybody has to respect what Chelsea have been doing in the last few months. We are winning a lot of games, not just in the league but in the Champions League and the cups.

'It is not easy, we have been without lots of players. People thought we would not succeed as much as before, but we are now in a Wembley final, we are four points off top spot in the league and in the next round of the Champions League. I am happy.

'We are in a very good position in everything. We will do everything to win every game. You can see how we have fought against Everton twice and Liverpool in the Carling Cup and we are now in the final.'

And Grant questioned the interpretation of his words pre-match when he was reported as saying he was not bothered about the competition.

He said: 'I want to win every game, even a friendly, despite what has been said about me. I take everything seriously at Chelsea.

'I did not imagine we would have so many injuries, while losing players to the African Nations Cup. We could have brought in a lot of new players, but decided not to.

'I do not remember having so many players missing but others play so well in their place.

'Do not compare me with Mourinho, or any other coach, we will do everything to win a trophy and I believe we have played well and impressed throughout the last few months.

'The final will be tough, Tottenham are a very good team. But then so are Everton and we have beaten them.

'It is a big challenge at this club, and winning through to as final gives me great satisfaction.'

Everton boss David Moyes insisted he is still looking for the magic extra ingredient that can turn his improving side into trophy-winners.

He said: 'We did well, but was it the luck of the bounce or poor positioning, I don't know. We had only a few chances and in semi-finals when things break, you have to take your chances. We didn't.

'We had a fine chance with a header from (Joleon) Lescott in the first half, if that had gone in it may have been different.

'It was a brilliant effort from the players, we played well in several periods of the game.

'But we need to find that bit extra that gets you to cup finals, that wins semi-finals, we need to find that special, magic, ingredient.'

He added: 'It might be the quality of the players. Chelsea have some top-quality players. But we gave it good go, even if there was a lapse in concentration that gave them their goal, that should not have happened.

'Their counter-attacking was superb. (Claude) Makelele was outstanding, as were their two centre-backs and the goalkeeper. That was the difference.

'By the end of this season we will find out whether we have that special ingredient. But to try to beat one of the best sides in the country over two legs was always going to be tough.

'We were very close in both games, they have been tight. On another night it could have fallen for us, but not this time.

'We now want to do well in the UEFA Cup, that is what we must be focused on while we are also pleased with the way we are doing in the league.

'We need to be better, but we are close. We do not want to wait much longer and I hope we learn from this experience.

'The fans were tremendous, they appreciated that the players gave everything. And as a club we are making progress, but I now want the next bit to get into the top four.'