Belfast Telegraph

Di Matteo not thinking of manager's job

Roberto Di Matteo has insisted he has spoken to no-one at Chelsea about becoming manager full-time and refused to set a deadline for declaring whether he wanted the job.

Not even the Blues' astonishing Champions League win over Barcelona on Wednesday night could break caretaker manager Di Matteo's resolve to not throw his hat into the ring to succeed Andre Villas-Boas full-time.

He denied having held any talks about his long-term future, adding: "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 think about anything else."

The spectacular success of Di Matteo's masterplan against the world and European champions has further increased the clamour for him to be handed the reins permanently.

Reports prior to Wednesday's 1-0 win suggested the Italian had already been interviewed for the post after masterminding what was at that point nine victories and one defeat from his 12 games in charge.

Chelsea are in the midst of a punishing schedule of a match every three or four days but asked when he would make his intentions known, Di Matteo added: "I don't think there's a time limit to anything like that.

"At the moment, that's not the focus of anybody because it's not important. We've got more important aspects to think about."

Di Matteo is certainly the people's choice, with every poll conducted among Chelsea fans declaring him the overwhelming favourite for the job.

"I've always had a good relationship with our supporters," the former Blues midfielder said.

"That goes back to the days when I was a player and it continued after I retired from football. It will continue whatever happens with myself. I will always be connected to this club and with the supporters, anywhere I'm going to be in the future."

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