Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Di Matteo: I Can Take Pressure of Top Job

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Di Matteo: I Can Take Pressure of Top Job

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

ROBERTO DI MATTEO today insisted he has no fears working for Roman Abramovich and is adamant he has the backing of all the Chelsea players.

Di Matteo was put in charge for the rest of the season after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked on Sunday following a poor run of results.

The former Chelsea midfielder, who has stepped up from his role as assistant to Villas-Boas, is the eighth different coach at the helm since Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

But Di Matteo has little experience of being in charge of a top club having only been the manager at West Brom and MK Dons.

Abramovich has told the Italian he must get Chelsea into the top four so that they qualify for the Champions League but they are in fifth and trail Arsenal by three points after a run of just three wins in 12 games.

He is also under strain to get the team to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie against Napoli next Wednesday.

But Di Matteo said: "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.

"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 or don't want it, you shouldn't be in this job.

"Can my previous experience help me? Every situation is different. You have to just look at what you have at your disposal and we have a great squad here. We just have to try and get the best out of these guys to win the points, get the wins, get through in the cup competitions.

"We have the confidence and belief, the power and the strength, to achieve our targets. We have to try to win as many games as we can. …

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