Branislav Ivanovic believes securing a positive result at Old Trafford tonight could have a significant impact for the remainder of the campaign.
The Blues head north to take on Manchester United in our first away game of the new season sitting at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, albeit having played a game more than our rivals, and buoyed by our opening two victories.
David Moyes will take charge of his first home match since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson as Man United manager, and with the home side expected to come out of the blocks quickly, Ivanovic is aware of the importance of starting well.
‘We’ve had two difficult games and we’re pleased to have got six points, especially as the game against Aston Villa was very tough,’ says the 29-year-old.
‘Now we play the champions away from home, which is always a big challenge for us as a team, and it could be important psychologically in terms of the rest of the season.
‘It’s very important to stay focused at the beginning of the game; of course they will be motivated but so will we.
‘It’s going to be a very difficult game; when you play a first match at home with a new coach there is some extra motivation, but for us that doesn’t matter, and we just need to continue in the same manner we’ve played the first two matches.
‘You have to be confident about these type of games but not over confident, because the big games are always a very close to call.’
On a personal note, it’s been a solid start to the campaign for Ivanovic, with the Serbian completing both matches at right-back, while also scoring the decisive goal in the midweek win against Aston Villa.
The defender, however, is only concerned with our collective efforts, saying: ‘The first two games were very important for the team, I don’t like to focus on personal achievements.
‘There a lot of games to go, and we still have to play a lot of top-quality teams,’ he says. ‘It’s still early in the season but I’m pleased with the performances so far.’