Di Matteo: Chelsea squad is united

Interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo insisted Friday there

is total unity in the squad as the Premier League club looks to

stabilize following the firing of Andre Villas-Boas last

weekend.

Villas-Boas failed to secure the backing of the whole Chelsea

dressing room during his troubled eight months in charge, admitting

certain players didn’t follow his ”project.”

However, Di Matteo, who was a member of Villas-Boas’ support

staff, has spoken to all the players since the Portuguese coach’s

departure and feels he has ”everyone onside.”

”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,” Di Matteo said.

Di Matteo has been placed in charge until the end of the season

and becomes the latest coach to work under notoriously impatient

owner Roman Abramovich, who has sacked seven managers since buying

the London club in 2004.

”How am I going to cope?” Di Matteo said. ”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. 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.”

Di Matteo, a former Chelsea player, made a successful start to

his temporary tenure by guiding the team to a 2-0 victory over

Birmingham in an FA Cup fifth-round replay on Tuesday.

Sealing a place in next season’s Champions League will be his

primary target, with the team fifth – two points behind Arsenal –

in the Premier League going into the home match against Stoke on

Saturday.

”We know we are fifth and we’ve made mistakes but we’re strong,

we have a good team, and we want to show we are better than where

we are at the moment,” Di Matteo said.