independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Di Matteo should be delighted - Warnock

Roberto Di Matteo has received support from other managers

Leeds manager Neil Warnock believes Roberto Di Matteo should be "absolutely delighted" to have achieved the success he had at Stamford Bridge because the Italian was only "part-time anyhow".

Di Matteo was sacked by the Blues just six months after winning the FA Cup, and for the first time in the club's history, the Champions League. Rafael Benitez has been brought in until the end of the season as interim first team manager with the Blues expected to make a move for former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who is taking a year sabbatical, in the summer.

"I think I would be absolutely delighted if I were him, because he was never going to be the manager," Warnock told reporters. "He's taken the job on and won the Champions League and the FA Cup, which nobody can take away from him."

Meanwhile, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes Di Matteo should be proud of the success he brought to Stamford Bridge.

"You don't like managers losing their job but in this case, with Roberto Di Matteo, he can be a very proud man," he said. "To win the Champions League and the FA Cup - sometimes it can take a lifetime for a manager to do what he has achieved in a very short space of time. I think he can be extremely proud."

Former Blues boss Jose Mourinho was philosophical about Di Matteo's departure.

"That's football," Mourinho told Sky Sports 2. "I'm never happy when a manager is sacked. It can happen to me and is a feeling that no one likes to have. But at the same time, everyone knows I like Chelsea. I supported Roberto and I wished him to do well, and I will support the next Chelsea manager."

Former Chelsea number two Steve Clarke defended owner Roman Abramovich's hire-and-fire policy, although admitted he was "surprised and disappointed" to see Di Matteo sacked. West Brom boss Clarke was a team-mate of Di Matteo's at Stamford Bridge before spending four years as assistant coach under Mourinho and Avram Grant.

Clarke said: "I am surprised and disappointed for Robbie who is a good friend and you don't like to see your good friends lose their jobs. It is the way the owner runs the club. I don't think anyone should be over-surprised at it.

"They look at results, the owner makes decisions and they act on what they feel is the right thing to do for Chelsea. I've always said the owners of any club can run their business the way they want to run it."

Press Association

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