Branislav Ivanovic says the team takes precedence over the individual following Diego Costa’s actions after being left on the bench for Chelsea’s trip to Tottenham.
Following a clash with Jose Mourinho during the Champions League win at Maccabi Tel Aviv last week, the Spaniard was dropped for Sunday’s match and was seen throwing his bib in the manager’s direction in the closing stages of the 0-0 draw.
Ivanovic insisted it is natural for a player to be disappointed at missing a match, but believes that at such a time the squad dynamic is more important than a single player.
“We start the season as a team and we have to finish as a team. This is important,” he is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“When we start losing, we all know it’s not about the one or two players playing badly or playing well.
“It’s about the team. Diego didn’t play at Tottenham, but I know he’ll be ready for the next game.
“He scored against Norwich – the winning goal – but it has to be all about the team in the moment.
“I think we all have to think about that. Sometimes, for a player who isn’t playing, it’s difficult but it is a normal situation for the club.”
Chelsea sit 14th in the Premier League following a dismal start to the season, but the Serbian believes they are on the path to improvement.
“None of us expected this start to the season. It was a shock to all of us and it’s taken time to react to everything that’s happened,” Ivanovic added.
“It’s starting to build. Everyone can feel that and everyone can see that.
“I think the team spirit is back and we are all again on the right track and want to do everything to try and get points back.
“I never talk about where we will finish. We have to be realistic and go game by game to get the points.”