Grant accepts he must prove himself at Chelsea

Avram Grant accepts he will have to prove himself all over again at Chelsea.

Rumours persist he is just a stop-gap while owner Roman Abramovich searches out a new long-term manager.

Yet after guiding his side to a brilliant win over Valencia in midweek, Grant told The Sun: "All my life, I have been forced to prove myself.

"Now it is obvious I'll have to do it at Chelsea as well.

"It doesn't faze me at all, I am used to it. Jose Mourinho is a big name to follow, he did great things for the club, but now it is a new time, it is my time.

"I'm taking everything in my stride and I realise I will be watched closely by the supporters. I understand the doubts some have and even I was shocked when I was appointed. But I will continue to be my own man. I will do it my way."

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Grant is off the mark now and insists that - despite rumours to the contrary - he does have the full backing of the Blues squad.

He added: "I didn't expect to get the job so I am not surprised that other people have reacted to it with huge surprise. But I am confident I have the backing of my whole team.

"Other than the first day, when the players were in a state of shock at Jose leaving and me being their new manager, they have been 100 per cent great to me.

"It has not been an easy time for any of us, change is never like that.

"For me it is completely new - I am not used to taking over a team when the season is already in full flow. So I know how the players feel.

"But now we will unite and go forward."

The Israeli never made it as a player but taught himself to coach when he was 18, studying Bob Paisley, Austrian Ernst Happel and ground-breaking LA Lakers basketball chief Pat Riley.

He is not fazed about a lack of qualifications and added: "I do not like to talk about myself too much but there are certain things that I am very proud of.

"It is true I was never a professional player but then Mourinho never was either.

"Look at the great things he did as a manager. I just want to be given the chance to get on with the job."

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