Juan Mata: Roberto Di Matteo is the perfect manager for Chelsea
Juan Mata is full of praise for Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo ahead of Tuesday's clash at Shakhtar Donetsk
Juan Mata has described Roberto Di Matteo as the “perfect manager” for Chelsea ahead of the Blues’ Champions League clash at Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Italian has made a hugely positive start to his reign at Stamford Bridge, leading the west Londoners to a Champions League and FA Cup double last season after taking over from Andre Villas-Boas in March.
Di Matteo’s side currently top the Premier League table after taking 22 points from 24 games and also lead their Champions League group.
And Mata had nothing but praise for the Blues coach and his management style ahead of their third Group E clash on Tuesday night.
“Robbie knows very well the team, and the club as well,” said Mata. “He used to be a legend here and now as a manager he connects very well with the team.
“In every meeting he goes deep inside each one of us, talking about every game, and it’s very important to be ready for every competition.
“He knows how important it is for the club to play these games, to win the Champions League like last season, so for us he is the perfect manager.”
Di Matteo, meanwhile, paid tribute to his players and said he hopes to remain in charge at Stamford Bridge “for a long time”.
“I am just happy to be leading this group and working with these players and working for the club that I have in my heart,’ said Di Matteo.
‘The players deserve all the credit as it has been extremely difficult last season and also this season with integrating players and our system of play.
“I am just here to help and do my job well as I can and hopefully we can continue for a long time.”
Shakhtar Donetsk v Chelsea: Pre match facts
• Shakhtar have won three of their four home games against English opposition, starting with a 3-0 victory over an Arsenal side including Ashley Cole in the 2000-01 Champions League first group stage.
• Chelsea became the fifth successive Champions League holders to draw on matchday one of the following season. As with the previous four, they won comfortably on matchday two.
• Chelsea have conceded 99 goals in the Champions League, group stage to final.
• Chelsea are enjoying their best start to a league campaign since 2005-06, when they won the title.