Branislav Ivanovic took centre stage with AVB in yesterdays pre match press conference ahead of our Champions League tie against Genk and sp...

Branislav Ivanovic took centre stage with AVB in yesterdays pre match press conference ahead of our Champions League tie against Genk and spoke out about our performance on Saturday and the fact we have been shipping goals lately. Respect is due to Ivanovic as he pulled no punches. It could have been easy to let the manager do all the talking about Saturday and moving on but Ivanovic shed light on what happened in that dressing room after the game and since then.

He said:
"No words were needed after the Arsenal game because every one of us has to look in the mirror and be honest about how we played defensively.

Saturday's result could be one of the most important things in our season because it requires a great reaction from the entire group to show how strong we are.

The whole team were angry because we didn't play like we should have done against Arsenal. I'm a defender so I'm never going to be happy to concede five goals. To lose 5-3 at home is a defensively poor game.

We have all watched the video. We know the mistakes we made and we have been planning how to do things better. We were not focused for 90 minutes and lost our concentration. As a result, things happened that we didn't want to happen."

Everyone knows we are playing more attacking football. But the manager has not asked us to change anything defensively.

Defending is very simple. You just have to be better than your opponent and show greater desire to win every tackle in every game."
Like I said fair play to Ivanovic telling it like it is. I'm pleased they all felt that way anyway, but to also sit through and watch the teams defensive performance on video would have hit home twice as hard too.

It's the lack of concentration at the start of the second half that cost us as we found ourselves 3-2 down with Arsenal scoring twice in ten minutes. We were left chasing the game.

In a funny kind of way, the more I think about it, the more I believe that performance and result could be the kick up the arse we needed as a reality check, to get our defensive focus right and to really kick on now for the rest of the season.

Some people will say that should have been the case after conceding three at Old Trafford, maybe so but to concede five at home for the first time ever in the Premier League, would have shocked and angered the players.

I posted yesterday asking you all to give your opinion on our strongest back four and I just wonder if we will see changes made at Blackburn this weekend.

Let's hope that have all voiced their opinions, talked it through and have worked on our defensive frailties ahead of Genk tonight and Blackburn.


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