Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has spoken on the importance of scoring early goals after his side scored a brace within 13 minutes, one of them being his, on their way to a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Stamford Bridge over the weekend.
It was Chelsea's first game after the sacking of charismatic manager Jose Mourinho.
'It was a difficult game and it was very important to score early goals,' he said. 'It hasn't happened for us a lot of times this season and when we scored these early goals it took the pressure away from us. The second goal was massive and hugely important for us. After that we felt confident and we controlled the game. We are still a little bit shaky when we conceded a goal, which is psychologically difficult in this moment and something we need to improve in the future, but in the end I think we deserved the three points.
'Before the game there was pressure on us because of the situation and we knew that. We wanted to win this game, we wanted to change our situation, because this club doesn't deserve to be in the position we are now and the only way to change this is to win the games, and the only people who can do that is us players on the pitch. We had to play from the first minute to the last minute as a team to show our character.'
Ivanovic also hailed new Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who he said gave him a chance to play for the Blues when the Dutchman was boss back in 2009.
'I worked with him here before, he was the one who gave me a proper chance in this club. I know how good his work was the first time he was here and I am grateful to him for that moment, but it was a long time ago,' explained the 31-year-old.
'Now is a new challenge, a completely different situation. I know he's one of the most experienced managers in the world, he has worked and been successful in a lot of countries. I think his first aim is to stabilise us, to give everything to the team so we can play like we did against Sunderland. We have to get back into the habit of winning as quickly as possible.'