Branislav Ivanovic believes we can be satisfied with a start to the season that has brought us seven points from an available nine.

Home wins against Hull City and Aston Villa were followed up by an away stalemate at Manchester United on Monday night, leaving us top of the Barclays Premier League, albeit having played a game more than most of our rivals at this early stage.

‘It’s good, it’s very important, and the start of the season is important for us as a team so we can grow. We have a lot more to do but we are happy with the situation,’ the 29-year-old said.

‘The manager has his ideas, knows what players he wants and needs in the squad, and we are improving with the new players, the young guys. [Andre] Schurrle played very well and all our front line ran a lot [against Manchester United]. Maybe that was the key.

‘It was a very difficult, physical game, with a lot of small details. It was important not to concede a goal and to try to play on the counter-attack. They played with four strikers and it was very difficult for us. We’re happy with the clean sheet.’

Ivanovic feels our strong start has been in no small part to a good defensive showing, and he considers that the platform for success this season.

It’s easier this way and we will improve a lot on the attacking side,’ said the Serbian. ‘It’s good to have confidence in the back four and to have opportunities for the young guys in front to improve a lot and show their potential.

We worked extremely hard in pre-season and this is the result, but it’s still the beginning and we are looking to the next games which will be very difficult.’

There is, however, a strong belief in the camp that the manager, Jose Mourinho, has his men on track.

‘It’s a pleasure and amazing to work with him but in another way it is very difficult because he is looking for small details, and he is perfect in looking for details in the game, he’s a perfectionist and you have to be ready for that,’ said Ivanovic. ‘He always asks you for one step, one run more, to give something extra for the team, and it’s a pleasure.’

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