Michael Ballack admits Avram Grant suffered a "silent protest" from Chelsea players when he first replaced Jose Mourinho.

Ballack told Premiere: "I noticed this incredible bond between the players and Jose. He always protected the players and made some of them who they are today. When he went, many players refused to believe it. There was a sort of silent protest within themselves, they wanted to get their old manager back.

"That was a difficult situation for Grant, not easy for him. But the longer the season went, success showed us that we can grow together. It's early days, but something might develop."