Didier Drogba says he is willing to start as a substitute throughout Montreal Impact’s play-off run – that after previous refusing to appear on the bench.
Drogba hasn’t featured for Impact in the past month due to the subsequent fallout from his stance at the decision, although the club have put that down to a back problem.
With Montreal taking on New York Red Bulls this weekend in the Eastern Conference semi-finals second leg, Drogba says he is ready to participate – whether that be in the starting XI or from the bench – if his team needs him.
“I’ve done that in my career, even in Chelsea, you know, in Champions League games,” he said. “I started my career as a sub so I don’t know why it should be difficult for me to be on the bench.
“I think I’ve showed it, even against San Jose, so I don’t think it’s difficult for people to understand I can be on the bench and without making it a big drama. Anyway, I’m not the type of guy to justify what I’m doing or not.”
Coming into the game with a 1-0 lead, Drogba’s Montreal will hope to close the game out in New York, although they are travelling to the Big Apple where the Red Bulls have won twelve and drawn two of their last fourteen matches on home soil.
Montreal have lost both of their trips to the Red Bulls this season, 3-1 and 1-0 defeats respectively, and Drogba says the attention should be on the team rather than his individual involvement.
“I don’t think it’s time to create more negativity,” he said. “And I think it’s really time to enjoy what the team is doing right now and be behind them and say to the fans that we need them to be behind us in New York and support the team.”
With regards to his apparent back problem, Drogba said: “It’s a bit better, but not the best, not what I want. But we’re working on it.
“We’ve been working for days to get back to fitness and today, for the first time, I managed to make two sessions, one this morning and one this afternoon, so, a bit satisfied.”