Much to prove for Grant, Lee
Avram Grant can expect a sympathetic ear from opposite number Sammy Lee when he takes his Chelsea side to face Bolton this weekend.
Grant has been forced to endure a series of personal attacks and questions about his ability to fill the job ever since he succeeded Jose Mourinho as Blues manager just two weeks ago.
And the Israeli's predicament will strike a chord with Lee who has suffered similar problems after taking over from the successful Sam Allardyce at the end of last season.
Grant, though, needs points, not sympathy, when Chelsea return to the stadium where two years ago Mourinho steered the club to their first title in 50 years.
Last season's runners-up have mustered just one point from two league games under the new regime and are without a win in their last four Premier League outings.
Victory is essential if they are to keep tabs with the early season leaders Arsenal and, while Grant will take heart from the midweek Champions League win in Valencia, he knows more domestic failure will increase the pressure on his position.
At least the Stamford Bridge manager can take heart from the return to fitness of Frank Lampard who has returned to full training and could be included in the squad to face Bolton.
"Frank trained very hard in the last two weeks and today he made the training session," Grant said.
"We will see after training tomorrow but he looks good. Of course Frank is an important player for us and we will be happy when all the injured come back for us soon."
Without Lampard and Didier Drogba, last season's leading scorers, Chelsea have struggled for goals.
Drogba showed his value with a stunning winner against Valencia but the Ivory Coast forward is once again suspended for the Bolton trip, paving the way for Andriy Shevchenko to press his claims after making way for Drogba in Spain.
"We have a big squad for occasions like this,' he added.”Didier on Wednesday did very well and we would have liked him to play on Sunday but I need to get the best from all the players.
"It is good that Frank and Didier score a lot of goals but we want others to score. Shevchenko is a good player. He was not doing his best in his last game but in football things can change.
"There were other players who were not at their best against Fulham but were good on Wednesday, so I am sure he will be useful to us."
If Grant is feeling beleaguered, Lee's improving status, on the back of Bolton's five-match unbeaten run that includes qualification to the UEFA Cup group stage, will give him hope that he to can turn the tide.
"It has taken time for us to get used to the new players and the new tactics, but you always get these changes with a new manager," said Nicolas Anelka, the club's leading scorer. "We are starting to get used to how he wants us to play now, though, and how to win games playing like that.
"But even more importantly, we are learning how not to lose games again. We have had two wins and three draws now, and that is a good way to go into big games against teams like Chelsea.
"You can see that we are starting to play with confidence again. We are starting to look like a good side again, and we hope we can prove that in our next two games against Chelsea and Arsenal."