CHELSEA’s Champions League hero Branislav Ivanovic says they must forget the disastrous Andre Villas-Boas days and let their belief carry them to success this season.
The defender made the impassioned plea after smashing home the extra-time winner in the Blues’ history-making Champions League turnaround against Napoli on Wednesday night.
Just two weeks ago Chelsea’s season lay in tatters: out of the top four and struggling to stay in both the Champions League and FA Cup.
But Ivanovic says it is the much-derided ‘player power’ that has helped turn things around.
"I think we are trying in the moment to change everything, to change our situation, to be together – to try," he said. "We had good moments in part of the season (under Andre Villas-Boas), but we have to forget everything.
"We have to try to set up game by game now to get the maximum out of this season."
Having become the first British team in history to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit in the Champions League knockout stages, Chelsea now face Leicester on Sunday in what once seemed an unlikely FA Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge.
And Ivanovic admits he is not sure why the Blues are now firing on all cylinders just two weeks after they lost at West Brom in what turned out to be AVB’s last game in charge.
"It is difficult to answer this question," said Ivanovic. "It is not about us not wanting to do that – it is not about that.
"It is just that when something is new, you try to do everything to change the season.
"The same thing happened when (Luiz Felipe) Scolari left – we tried to do everything. And I think this is quite a similar situation to that one. We will try to do everything."
Does that mean, as Scolari’s replacement Guus Hiddink restored pride and silverware to Stamford Bridge, now Roberto Di Matteo can do the same in the wake of Villas-Boas?
"I think it is difficult to compare," said Ivanovic. "But I would say that we, the players, have to do everything to change the season.