Branislav Ivanovic isn’t having the best period of his Chelsea career. Bad performances over the past season have seen the spotlight move to players such as Ivanovic, and often stay there.

Manager Antonio Cotne dropped Ivanovic to the bench after Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool and 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. Conte then saw his side expectedly beat Hull City 2-0 in the next game, but Ivanovic doesn’t think his exclusion for one game means much.

The Serbia national team captain has been speaking to Blic in his own country and said the good times are easily forgotten when players have a drop in form, but he sounded upbeat about returning to the team.

“I was maximum ready and healthy for the match with Hull, but I never got the chance. I’ll always put myself below the interests of the team, be that national side or club.

“When the team is successful and when they win, it’s quickly forgotten when you make mistakes. It’s been a while since I was a backup, but I do not mind. I’ll sit on the bench whenever the coach decides, and not for the first time in these eight years at Chelsea.

“I think that the status of players cannot be concluded on the basis of an unplayed 90 minutes. Today’s football means that every day you have to fight and prove yourself.”

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 14.31.49Looking forward, Ivanovic sounds ready to battle for his place within Antonio Conte’s starting eleven for Chelsea. After a difficult period last season under Jose Mourinho, the defender believes there are good times ahead for the club under Conte.

“There is no past, no future, only the present. It is normal to be on the bench, especially in clubs that over and over again are going step further.

“Two seasons ago we won the championship, and last season was very difficult for all at Chelsea, toughest season in the last decade. It’s a challenge for us to get back on track. We started correctly, but it could have been much better. I think that the people at the club will have something to look forward to at the end of the season.”