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Di Matteo: I feared the chop

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo says he expected the sack not promotion when called in for showdown talks after the West Brom defeat in March.

Last Updated: 18/11/12 at 11:10 Post Comment

Roberto Di Matteo: Looking to get one past his ex-employers

Roberto Di Matteo: Looking to get one past his ex-employers

The Italian, set to return to his former club for the first time since his Baggies exit, was speaking about the match that decided Andre Villas-Boas's demise as Blues manager.

Di Matteo, who was then assistant to the Portuguese, was immediately appointed caretaker following a training-ground meeting with owner Roman Abramovich, director Eugene Tenenbaum and chief executive Ron Gourlay.

When asked if he had been bracing himself for a Stamford Bridge departure, Di Matteo said: "I did, yeah, quite frankly. It was a very emotional day, that day, for us."

The revelation came as he marked 257 days in charge of Chelsea, the exact number of days Villas-Boas had spent in the hotseat.

But despite having bagged the Champions League and FA Cup trophies in his first season in charge, Di Matteo now takes his team to the Hawthorns looking for their first win in four league games.

"You need to put things into perspective," the former MK Dons boss added.

"We're in good shape, the players are in good spirit. We need to keep going on and try to get the win.

"We've shown our character many, many times. It's not just a test of character. When we play well and manage to do so in a game, we can win games."

And regarding his controversial dismissal in February 2011 at West Brom, he said: "I learned a lot of things - which people to trust, who not to trust.

"I'm certainly a better coach and manager now from the experience I had in the

past, and the experience I had here as an assistant and now a manager working with these players."

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Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

N

o Daniel, we're f***ed next season

footyfan52
Sturridge: We're moving on

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
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