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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 16, 2008

Grant defiant as vultures begin to circle

Chelsea boss Avram Grant is adamant he will still be in charge of the Premier League club next season - and has never been put under any pressure to win silverware.

Grant was vilified by the fans after the club's 1-1 draw with Wigan on Monday night effectively banished their title ambitions for another season.

Chelsea are five points adrift of Manchester United at the top of the Premier and their chances will disappear all together if they fail to beat Everton at Goodison Park.

'We feel pressure all the time but it is a good pressure - I don't want to live without this pressure,' he said.

'We are still fighting and will continue fighting even if the chances have been against us from day one.

'If the club is not happy with me tomorrow or 10 years from now it is okay. It is a good relationship and that is what it needs to be.

'I need to do my job for Chelsea and that is what is important.

'Nobody told me I had to win a trophy this season but I want to win one. Most of the fans respect what we did for them and we respect what they did for us.

'We took a lot of points with so many injured players and with so many problems. But there was a good spirit shown by the team. The fans are like us, sometimes we are disappointed also. But most of the time we did a good job.

'I was at the game against Rosenborg earlier this season and heard the booing at half-time - I had never heard that before. But most of the time the fans are behind us. You cannot win every game and I think they know it.'

Grant understandably refused to put names in the frame for the club's summer transfer business but is clearly planning to raid Europe and match the spending of their English rivals.

'We know the vision of the club and the money won't be a problem if we find good players to bring here,' Grant said.

'So you could say £80 million or £100 million but we don't have the advantage that we had two or three years ago.

'We know that Manchester United will spend a lot of money and Arsenal will buy a few players as well as Liverpool. We will do the same. We want to improve.'

Grant's preparation for their 'must-win' clash against Everton has been hampered further by an astonishing outburst from Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim.

The centre-back was alleged to have said that he would have signed for another club if he had known that Jose Mourinho was to be axed and Grant put in charge.

The comments could earn Ben Haim a club fine unless he can produce an explanation.

'It is an internal matter and we will deal with it like this - we know we need to hear from the player first if it is true or not,' Grant said.

'I don't think Jose promised Tal Ben-Haim that he would play before John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and Alex but maybe yes. I will ask Tal.

'It is internal business but in my opinion if the player was wrong we need to deal with it in my way.'

Grant could also be without two key players as striker Didier Drogba is struggling with a knee injury and Frank Lampard remains on compassionate leave after his mother fell ill.

Grant confirmed that Lampard had missed training this week to remain with his family and with the squad flying to Merseyside on Wednesday afternoon, Lampard is unlikely to figure in his plans.

'It is a personal matter with Frank,' Grant added. 'I tell the players all the time that football is very important but sometimes there are things that need to be taken care of. This is more important and I understand that. I hope everything will be okay.

'Frank has not been training he has been at hospital with his mum. I know the feeling and it is not good.

'Drogba didn't train on Tuesday but he is doing everything to be available for us as soon as possible.'