Di Matteo: I need to get Chelsea players in right frame of mind
Interim Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo says he has spoken with each player individually after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas
Roberto Di Matteo has revealed he has spoken with each Chelsea player individually to get them into the “right frame of mind” following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas on Sunday.
Villas-Boas was dismissed on Sunday in the wake of the Blues’ 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich, leaving the Londoners three points behind Arsenal in the race for a fourth-place finish.
Di Matteo, who has been placed in temporary charge until the end of the season, called in ex-Chelsea midfielder Eddie Newton to support his coaching staff for the remainder of the campaign.
The Italian coach admits it has been a testing few days – but he has no choice but to rally his troops ahead of their FA Cup replay at Birmingham on Tuesday night.
“It has been a very difficult 24 hours for a lot of people at the football club,” Di Matteo told Chelsea’s website.
“Andre has brought some very good, positive ideas and changes to this football club and we will benefit from his changes. I enjoyed very much working with him and we will remain friends for the rest of our lives, but I will have to move on for this club and try my best with the players we have here.
Reflecting on his first day in charge, he continued: “It was a good morning. We only just played Saturday so it was a short and sharp session. We need to re-group for sure.
“Today I have mostly spoken to the players individually to try to get them in the right frame of mind for the task ahead and that is our job now.
“Eddie knows the club and many of the players. I have worked with him for many years and it was easy for him to slot in for us and give us a hand until the end of the season.
“He is a Chelsea man and I want some passion from people who care about this club, and this is one of our jobs as well, to transmit that to the team.
“Eddie worked with me for three years and he is going to assist me and Steve Holland, and Christophe Lollichon will do his goalkeeping job and Chris Jones is the fitness and conditioning coach.
“We will exchange opinion and discuss and we have a very similar view of how we think the team should play.
“It is good to have the people that have the knowledge and the experience, that have played in the Premier League, and Eddie was with me working in the Premier League last season.”