Wednesday 21 March 2018

Di Matteo: Results will define me at Chelsea

Jeremy Wilson

Roberto di Matteo has dismissed suggestions he will be managing Chelsea this season in the shadow of Pep Guardiola and insisted his future will be defined purely by results.

Di Matteo also made it clear that he would lead Chelsea in the same pragmatic manner that ultimately delivered both the Champions League and FA Cup.

Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, had regarded Guardiola as the ideal replacement for Andre Villas-Boas, who he sacked in March, but the former Barcelona manager has made it clear he wants to take a break from football.

Di Matteo was made interim manager following Villas-Boas' departure but, even after winning the Champions League, his appointment on a two-year deal was not confirmed for more than three weeks.

"There has been speculation from day one and I have lived with it," said Di Matteo. "I don't feel any shadow above or behind me. I know the process sometimes takes a bit of time, it is an important decision for the club and I've no problems with it at all. I always said I was going to accept and respect any decision."

Chelsea have already signed Eden Hazard and Marko Marin but are still targeting a new right-back and striker. Di Matteo, though, said there would be no further departures this summer and stressed there would be no overhaul to their playing style.

"Our team has always been a technical team," he said. "If you judge our work on three games (against Barcelona and Bayern Munich), you forget all the other games. The 4-2 against Napoli, 5-1 against Tottenham and all the other games where the team expressed their offensive potential.

"We would all like to play like Barcelona, but there isn't another team who plays like them in the world. The important thing is that we play well, and challenge in every game with the players we have. I don't see any reason to change."

Chelsea could also be without Juan Mata until the start of September, with Di Matteo confirming his forward would be given further holiday time after playing for Spain both in Euro 2012 and the Olympic Games. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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