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Blues rule out early decision on Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo will have to wait until the end of the season to discover whether he has a long-term future as Chelsea manager.

The Blues' form has picked up remarkably since Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas on an interim basis, culminating on Tuesday night when, despite the first-half dismissal of captain John Terry, they completed a 3-2 aggregate win over Barcelona to reach the Champions League final.

His 15 games in charge have brought 10 wins, four draws and one defeat –

2-1 at Manchester City last month.

But chief executive Ron Gourlay has ruled out an early appointment as club owner Roman Abramovich and technical director Michael Emenalo continue to consider their options.

“We are going to wait until the end of the season,” Gourlay said. “Robbie has done a fantastic job but we will stick to our view.”

He added: “I don't want to add any pressure on anybody at the club. There is enough pressure on us as it is.

“We said we'd review things at the end of the season and that's the position we're still in.”

Di Matteo certainly appears to have the support of the Chelsea players, and defender Branislav Ivanovic said: “He's changed everything.

“He gave us support, he gave us trust, and I think he's great.

“We have a great relationship and the results are good for us.”

Ex-Blues boss Jose Mourinho will be supporting his former club in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, conquerors of Mourinho's Real Madrid, and was scathing of those who criticised his former club's defensive performance against Barca at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.

“John Terry will be missing but Chelsea are there and that is the most important thing,” he said. “Chelsea were heroes. People who criticise them know nothing about character. I hope Chelsea win.”

But their former winger Arjen Robben, now with Bayern, has warned Chelsea he plans to end their hopes of lifting the trophy.

“They're my former club, I had a fantastic time there,” he said.

“Well, I have to disappoint them because they're not going to win it!”


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