Ivanovic: Plenty of room for improvement at Chelsea

The defender believes the reigning Europa League champions are yet to reach their full potential this season, before hailing Ashley Cole's influence on his game
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic insists him and his team-mate still have work to do if they are to achieve their aims this season.

The west London side enter the international break two points off Premier League leaders Arsenal, and third in their Champions League group following defeats to Everton and Basle in September.

But Ivanovic is confident Chelsea will begin fulfilling their potential once their domestic duties get back underway.

"There's still a lot of hard work to do," he told the club's official website. "We've played some good games; we've had some defeats, too.

"The team and our performances can improve, we can do better and I think we'll do it after this international break."

Ivanovic has been deployed by Jose Mourinho exclusively as a right-back this term after spending much of last season in a central position, and revealed he often takes cues from Ashley Cole when it comes to turning defensive into attack.

"All my career I've moved inside and outside," he said. "I'm really happy because it's good for me that I can play both positions. I always try to do my best wherever I play. In the end I'm happy because I like to defend, and I'm really enjoying defending in this team.

"For me Ashley is the best left-back in the world in the last 10 years. It's a real pleasure to work with him. Sometimes it's difficult to learn from him because he's doing everything naturally. There are not a lot of things you can do and be like him.

"For me he always helps as a good reference. When you have him opposite you on the pitch you have to work hard to synchronise with him and we try to do that."