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    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

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

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

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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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H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

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h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

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