Ivanovic: Team meeting was positive

Branislav Ivanovic has insisted Chelsea’s widely-publicised team meeting on Sunday had a positive effect on the squad.

Defender Ivanovic was one of those hauled in on his day off by manager Andre Villas-Boas after Saturday’s defeat at Everton, which left the Blues languishing in fifth place in the Barclays Premier League.

Villas-Boas was reportedly challenged openly by some of his squad during Sunday’s talks and he on Thursday admitted that not all of his players were behind his Chelsea project.

But Ivanovic believes what was undoubtedly a frank exchange of views could be the catalyst to turn the Blues’ season around, just as it did two years ago when they went on to win the double.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie with Birmingham, Ivanovic told Chelsea TV: "We had a couple of very good things come out of last weekend.

"We sorted out a lot of problems and we have worked very hard in training as well.

"We are doing our best. It is a very hard period for us but we have to believe, we have to have trust in each other on the pitch and believe that better things will happen for us.

"It is very important to have communication between the manager and the players. For the players, it gives us confidence and we know what we’re doing right and wrong. They (the meetings) can help.

"That is why it is good that we have had a good rest and worked hard in training as well. We are ready for Birmingham and the rest of the season.

"We play at home and we have to win the game. I think this is one of the most important moments for us where we can change the rest of the season."