Di Matteo insists he can cope with pressure

Frank Malley

Roberto Di Matteo is confident he can cope with the pressure of managing Chelsea under the gaze of Roman Abramovich.

Di Matteo, who took over as interim boss when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked last weekend, is the eighth manager at Stamford Bridge since Abramovich took over the club in 2004.

But as he looked forward to tomorrow's match against Stoke, when captain John Terry is likely to return to the starting line-up following knee surgery, Di Matteo said: "How am I going to cope? I will still get up in the morning. Have a coffee. Still have my lunch, my dinner, and get on with my life as normal.

"At any club, there's pressure to achieve certain targets. It's always there. Even if you're working at another club. If you can't handle it, don't want it, you shouldn't be in this job.

"We are in a results-driven business. It's very simple. At any club where you work, you'll have targets and the pressure is there. Everywhere. That's the common aspect for any manager, in League One, League Two, Championship or Premier League."


Chelsea beat Birmingham to progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals in midweek and Di Matteo revealed he had held talks with the big characters in Chelsea's dressing room, some of whom had a strained relationship with Villas-Boas. Di Matteo was confident there was a winning mood among the squad.

He said: "I feel I have everyone on-side. I have spoken individually to all of them now over the five days. It's a team effort and we needed to get everybody pulling in the right direction.

"We've spoken now and everyone is together. They all know what the task is for the last two months of the season. They're all on board. You saw that in the reaction on Tuesday."