Di Matteo upbeat despite doubts

October 14, 2010

In-form striker Peter Odemwingie (knee) and midfielder Jerome Thomas (calf) both face a race against time to be fit for Saturday's match against Manchester United. "They are both struggling," Di Matteo said. "Thomas has a slightly better chance of being available for Saturday than Odemwingie. Friday is the last day of training before the game, so we will wait until then and then decide. "Peter is a very important player for us, but we have to think about the rest of the season as well, it's not just Saturday." Di Matteo is adamant that his team has a fighting chance, even if neither player is passed fit. "We are a team with some individually good players, and we know the importance of those players, but I think we try to win as a team. "That's the only way forward for us. We will still try to be competitive. "We go in with belief, and if the opposition has a better day or is stronger than us than we'll have to deal with that." Sir Alex Ferguson's team have drawn their last two league matches against Sunderland and Bolton, but Di Matteo rejected suggestions that now is a good time to visit Old Trafford. "I've heard all of that before," he said. "When we went to Stamford Bridge everyone said, 'It's a good time to play Chelsea, they haven't won a game in pre-season'. It ended up 6-0. "For me they are a great team. There's never a good time to play teams of that quality. "It's going to be a difficult afternoon for us." Saturday's match marks the end of a difficult run of fixtures for West Brom. They will have visited Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United in just over two months. Yet despite this run, they are currently lie in sixth place, the highest position of any Midlands team. Di Matteo said: "We looked at our first four away games, and having to play all of those teams, it's tough. "Having said that, I don't think that if you go to Stoke City or West Ham it's any easier, they just throw different challenges at you."