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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 15, 2008

Grant refuses to concede title after Wigan draw

Chelsea coach Avram Grant insists his side are still in the race for the Barclays Premier League title even though Wigan put a massive dent in their ambitions with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are five points adrift of the leaders with four matches to play after failing beat Wigan.

Michael Essien gave Chelsea a 55th-minute lead but Emile Heskey pounced in added time to earn Wigan a share of the spoils and virtually end Chelsea's title dreams.

Chelsea play Everton at Goodison Park on Thursday night and United at home on April 26 and Grant knows victory in both games is vital.

'We need to win the games against Everton and Manchester United,' admitted the Chelsea boss. 'If not, it will be more difficult.

'We are still in it and we will keep on fighting but we need one more bad result off Manchester United.

'The result did not help us but I thought the second half was one of our best performances from the footballing point of view.

'Every three or four minutes we created chances but their goalkeeper gave an excellent performance. This is football though; when you don't score the other team does.'

Grant was robbed of striker Didier Drogba with a recurrence of his knee problem and midfielder Frank Lampard was called away at the last moment because of a family illness.

Drogba will have a scan on his injured knee later today to assess the damage but both may miss Thursday's clash with Everton.

'It is a personal matter with Frank and I would prefer to leave it at that,' said Grant.

'I didn't like the first half but I think the players were a bit in shock because one of our best players had to leave the team at the last moment, which is understandable.'

Wigan boss and former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce will no doubt be getting a few bottles of red wine as a thank you gift after his side halted Chelsea's title charge.

Bruce's phone was constantly vibrating with text messages from friends after Heskey's late goal stunned Chelsea.

'I am genuinely more pleased for us that we have picked up a point,' said the Latics boss.

'Of course, the phone in the pocket is going off repeatedly and there are a few friends in Manchester who will be absolutely delighted but I am very pleased for our supporters and players.

'There was a 20-minute spell when Joe Cole came on and nearly blew us away but the goalkeeper made two or three great saves and in the end we managed to get something out of the game.

'I more pleased for us than my mates in Manchester. Fergie texted me before the game and he has phoned me four times in four months - twice before playing Arsenal and twice before we played Chelsea.'