Drogba benefits from break

20 April 2009 08:03
Didier Drogba believes he is now benefiting from having an extended break in the summer as he recovered from a knee injury.

The 31-year-old opted out of joining his Chelsea team-mates on their pre-season tour of Asia and Russia as he looked to strengthen his knee.

At first the decision was questioned as the Ivory Coast international began the season slowly as he struggled to get into ex-boss Luiz Felipe Scolari's team.

But now, under interim manager Guus Hiddink, the former Marseille ace is reaping the rewards of an extended break after a run of nine goals in 12 games under the Dutchman.

"I feel stronger now," he said.

"I am really happy that in July I took the decision not to go to pre-season because I needed to rest.

"I needed to work on my knee to come back strong.

"That was the sacrifice I made at the beginning of the season and it's paying dividends now."

Drogba plays down the arrival of Hiddink as a reason for his spectacular turnaround and insists that he could not score because he was not playing under Scolari.

Patience"Everybody is talking about the change of the manager but really it is quite simple," he added.

"I wasn't playing, so I couldn't score goals. But it wasn't only the selection of the team, I wasn't fit enough either.

"Nicolas Anelka was performing very well at that time. I just had to keep patient and work hard so I was ready when I got the chance."

After scoring the winning goal that sent Chelsea to the FA Cup final at Arsenal's expense on Saturday, Drogba revealed the team will be doing all they can to win some silverware this term.

"When you go to the end of the season there are big games all the time and when you play at Chelsea you have to perform in them if you want to win trophies," he explained.

"That is what you try to do. It doesn't work every time but at least we have the chance to try."

Source: SKY_Sports