Abramovich is ‘happy’ with Avram

CHELSEA boss Avram Grant insists he is not worried by speculation over his future after guiding the club into the final of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Grant has exceeded all expectations at Stamford Bridge since succeeding Jose Mourinho in September last year.

Chelsea are level on points with Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, the team they also meet in Moscow on May 21, and Grant is expecting another dramatic weekend in the title race.

Chelsea captain John Terry has already said that Grant has done enough to secure his position as manager and now the 52-year-old Israeli insists he is happy with his situation at the club. When asked whether he had spoken with billionaire owner Roman Abramovich since Wednesday’s dramatic victory over Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final, Grant replied: “Yes, but it was a private matter. I have a feeling that you know that he’s happy, very happy. We are in contact, and he’s happy. The relationship is good. Everything will be OK. Do I look worried? I need to do my job all the time, to look at the present and the future in this club.

“About my personal life, I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow. Professionally, I know what Chelsea need to do tomorrow, a week from now or two years from now.”

Grant, preparing his side for Monday’s fixture at Newcastle, insists that winger Shaun Wright-Phillips is not unhappy despite being left out of the side in recent games.

The Israeli also expects striker Didier Drogba to remain at Stamford Bridge next season. Drogba’s future continues to come under intense speculation but Grant believes the Ivory Coast striker is happy in London and that is demonstrated by his displays on the pitch.

“There are a lot of rumours about everybody,” said Grant.

“Didier can only play for one club, but he’s been linked to six or seven. No, only four.

“He’s at the club. Sometimes he has good days, sometimes he has bad days, you have to give answers to questions like this on the pitch. In the semi-finals, he was good. “If Shaun is not happy, given my relationship with the player, he can come and tell me.

“I don’t think there’s a problem. We are in historic moments in Chelsea, so this is a moment to say ‘thank you’ to all the players at Chelsea.

“Shaun was our best player in December. This is a time to respect everybody at the club.

“My assistants have done a very good job, the medical department, the new fitness coach. It has not been an easy season, but it will also belong to these kind of players.”

Finally, Chelsea are seeking clarification from the Premier League over whether Nicolas Anelka will be able to play against former club Bolton on the final day of the season. There have been suggestions that

Anelka was signed on an initial loan agreement before the £15m (19.2m) deal was made permanent in the January transfer window and as a result cannot play against his old club.


Lifestyle

My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

More From The Irish Examiner