Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is wary of Reading threat

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is braced for a testing clash when the Blues welcome Reading to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Roberto Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo's men won 2-0 at Wigan Athletic on Sunday Photo: The Sport Review

Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo admits he is wary of the threat posed by newly-promoted Reading ahead of Chelsea’s first home game of the Premier League season on Wednesday night.

The Blues got their top-flight campaign off to a winning start with a routine 2-0 victory at Wigan Athletic on Sunday, with new signing Eden Hazard setting up both of the Londoners’ goals at the DW Stadium.

But Di Matteo is refusing to get carried away with his side’s positive display on Sunday and admits the Blues can take nothing for granted against Brian McDermott’s men at Stamford Bridge.

“I’m very wary of newly-promoted teams like Reading,” Di Matteo told a news conference on Tuesday. “We saw at the weekend how well Southampton played against Manchester City. It’s going to be a very difficult game when you play a newly-promoted team early on, full of enthusiasm and spirit. We will try our best to win our first home game.”

Di Matteo also singled out Hazard for further praise following the Belgian’s man-of-the-match display at Wigan, and the Italian hopes there is more to come from the 21-year-old.

“I think the general performance of the team was good and he [Hazard] certainly left his mark on the game,” he continued. “I always said in pre-season he was showing these kinds of qualities in training and now we’re finally in the Premier League. Hopefully there is some more to come from him.”

The Italian also remained typically coy when quizzed over possible new arrivals at Stamford Bridge.

“Not at the moment,” said Di Matteo when asked if there was any fresh transfer activity to report. “We’re not going to have any new players in before tomorrow’s game for sure. As I always said, we’re not really talking about out transfer policy so it will be more or less the same squad.”

The Chelsea coach gave new signing Oscar his Premier League debut at Wigan after the Brazilian come on as a second-half substitute on Sunday – and Di Matteo says he will not rush him straight into the first-team.

“We’re slowly looking to integrate him [Oscar], like we did with the other signings,” he added. “He’s not been here long. We need to give him the right time to get used to his new team-members, the club, the team and do a bit of tactical work with him and slowly put him into the team.”

And Di Matteo, who also confirmed Ramires is fit but Marko Marin is still out injured, said he was undecided if he would change his starting line-up for Wednesday’s clash

“You sometimes look at it and think, ‘don’t change a winning team’, but it doesn’t always work like that,” he said. “We’ll see for tomorrow. I haven’t made my final decision yet for tomorrow night. We just finished training not long ago and I’ll think about it.”

Di Matteo added: “Ramires is fine; Marin is still out so apart from him in terms of injury we’re OK. It [Marin’s injury] won’t be long but he might not be [back] before the international break.”


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