Chelsea exceed expectations, gushes Grant
Avram Grant is proud of the fact his Chelsea team are still in with a chance of winning the Premier League title with one game to go.
Now equal top with Manchester United after a 2-0 victory at Newcastle, this fascinating battle between the Champions League finalists will go down to the wire.
Chelsea are home to Bolton on the final day on Sunday while Sir Alex Ferguson's side go to Wigan.
United have a superior goal difference but Grant remains upbeat after second half goals from Michael Ballack and Florent Malouda kept them in the hunt at St James' Park yesterday.
'From day one our target was to be in the Champions League final and to improve our game,' said the Chelsea coach.
'We've done more than I even expected, so we want to believe the season will end well and we will fight to the last minute.
'United have had a fantastic season. They've been champions many times before but this year we have given them a good battle and it is not finished yet.
'Even if they win the title on goal difference you must give my team respect.'
Even though Wigan are managed by former Old Trafford favourite Steve Bruce, Grant expects them to give their all.
'For more than 30 years I've visited English football, at least five times a year since I was a boy,' he said.
'Even when I didn't have much money I came here. One thing I like is that you play football until the end, not like other countries.
'Sometimes I'm too positive and too optimistic, but I believe in the traditions of English football.
'We need to win first and it's not easy for them to play at Wigan.
'I don't believe that Bruce will give the game to Manchester United.
'Maybe we can win 18-0 on Sunday, if we play against a team that will let us to. I don't think so, though.'
Wigan face United on the back of a superb victory at Aston Villa and Grant's theme was echoed by inspirational skipper John Terry.
He told Sky Sports 1: 'They are on a great run at the minute. They came to the Bridge and put in a very good performance and since then, they have picked up.
'Wigan will do the Premier League justice and they will go out there wanting to beat Manchester United.
'Hopefully they will do. We have worked out socks off all year, so it will be disappointing if they don't.
'We saw the likes of many teams yesterday putting out full-strength teams and really going for it against some teams who have got nothing to go for.
'Wigan are safe now - hopefully, with a great manager like Steve Bruce, they are going to go for it.
'We have still got a tough game at home to Bolton, but if we pick up the three points, as we did today, we have got a very good chance.'