New Chelsea manager Avram Grant says he was happy with his players efforts, despite his first game ending in a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.
Chelsea’s preparations for the trip to Old Trafford had been overshadowed by talk of unrest in the camp following the abrupt departure of Jose Mourinho.
“With everything that has happened, I’m happy with the way they have behaved,” said Grant.
“It was a shock to everyone, including me, but they have responded well.”
Grant believes the dismissal of Mikel Jon Obi on 32 minutes was a significant turning point.
“We were playing well until Mikel was sent off and the game changed then,” added Grant.
“It seemed the wrong decision and it was also wrong that United scored in the third minute of injury time when the referee said there would only be two.”
Despite his unhappiness with the referee, Grant was impressed by his side’s resolve.
“I have been happy with the support of the players,” he insisted. “I have only been with them for three days and as a manager I am happy.
“I saw in the game and at the hotel, the players are more than OK and are trying to do their best on and off the pitch.
“The only thing we can do is to work hard to put the team in the place they deserve to be. Chelsea have a good team but it is easy to say.”
United assistant Carlos Queiroz admitted that the dismissal of Mikel turned the game but felt his side deserved to win.
“It was a great result but it felt like two games – one before the red card and one after – but before then I felt we played probably our best football of the season,” he said.
“We deserved to be leading when the red card came and Chelsea then became more compact and invited us to attack and make a mistake.
“But we were patient and clever and never got frustrated as we knew we had the three points in our pocket.”