Di Matteo: I boosted a few egos

Simon Stone

Roberto di Matteo used a little bit of ego massaging to restore Chelsea’s fortunes when he was asked to replace axed manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Di Matteo delivered his first trophy to Stamford Bridge on Saturday when his side held off a second-half Liverpool rally to secure a 2-1 Wembley win in the FA Cup final.

The biggest prize will not be fought for until May 19, when the Blues take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

But already a sense of order has been restored at Chelsea following the chaos Villas-Boas’ ill-fated stint created.

And Di Matteo admitted one of his first tasks was to remind his players how good they were.

“We are all human,” he said.

“When things don’t go your way, sometimes you have some doubts. Every victory has just cemented their confidence.”

Yet Di Matteo concedes it could all have been so different if his first game in charge, an FA Cup fifth-round replay at Birmingham, had gone wrong.

“That was a crucial game for us,” he said. “It was my first game but if we hadn’t won it could have gone completely the other way.

“It was important to get that first win to instil a little bit of belief and confidence.”

He added: “We have had a very difficult season this year,” he said. But there is a lot of quality and ambition in this team. In adversity it comes out.”

Terry: FA Cup still important

John Terry vowed the FA Cup would never take a back seat while he remains Chelsea’s captain after their historic Wembley triumph over Liverpool.

Yesterday’s 2-1 win was the Blues’ fourth cup victory in six seasons, a period of dominance not witnessed since the comp-etition began in the 19th century.

Terry became the first man to captain the same club to four FA Cup wins – his fifth success overall –while caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo became the first to both score for and manage the same club to victory in the competition.

“Growing up, it was what I lived for, even in front of the league,” he said. “Maybe that’s changed a bit but, when I was younger, the FA Cup was the biggest competition in world football.”