Roberto Di Matteo remains coy over his Chelsea future
Roberto Di Matteo is giving no hints over whether he expects to be appointed as Chelsea manager on a permanent basis
Roberto Di Matteo refused to be drawn on questions over his future at Chelsea despite his recent success at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian coach has led the Blues to 10 wins from 13 games since he took over from Andre Villas-Boas on a temporary basis in early March, with the latest success a 1-0 triumph over Champions League holders Barcelona on Tuesday.
Di Matteo’s impressive record during his short spell in charge has inevitably led to speculation linking him with the permanent role – but the 41-year-old insists he is not concerned over his future.
He said: “No [nobody at the club has spoken to me about my long-term future]. But I don’t think it’s important right now to speak about anything like that.
“Our focus is on playing these games. We don’t have time to be thinking about anything else. The players need to get a lot of credit for being able to sustain the level of competition that we’re in and we’re in good form.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with our supporters. That goes back to the days when I was a player and it continued after I retired from football.
“It’s always been a close connection with them. It will continue whatever happens with myself. I will always be connected to this club and with the supporters.
“I don’t think there’s a time-limit to anything. At the moment that’s not the focus of anybody because we’ve got more important aspects to think about.”
Di Matteo’s side will face Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Saturday without Didier Drogba, who has a knee injury.
But the Italian said the striker could still win his race to be fit in time for return Champions League semi-final clash at Barcelona on Tuesday.
And Di Matteo was thrilled with Drogba’s impact on Wednesday after the striker netted the eventual winner on the stroke of half-time.
“I think he was very helpful to the team, the way he played,” said Di Matteo. “He gave us an outlet and scored a vital goal for us. We were very pleased with it [his performance].”
Drogba received his fair share of criticism for appearing to go to ground too easily during the clash with Barcelona, but Di Matteo insists he sees no reason to have discussed the striker’s behaviour with the player.
“I don’t see any reason why I should have a conversation like that,” he added. “Our players are fair players. Everybody has his own style but I think we are a fair team.”