Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

No guarantees for Torres - Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo (right) expects Fernando Torres to build on his Euro 2012 performances

New Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo expects a "buzzing" Fernando Torres to be raring to go when he returns to pre-season training - but warned the Euro 2012 Golden Boot winner there can be no guarantees of being the Blues' number one striker.

The Spain international came off the bench in the final, scoring one and setting up another in a 4-0 win over Italy to help fire them to European glory. The 28-year-old had launched an outburst at the Blues in the wake of their Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich, attacking his treatment and threatening to quit, although he later backtracked.

"There is no concerns about Fernando at all," said Di Matteo. "I did have a chat with him the morning after the final, and have been in touch since as well. It (disappointment) was a feeling he had at the time, but I will continue to speak to the players. I am expecting him here in a good mood, to be buzzing and be very good next season."

Torres enjoyed a successful season with both club and country last term, and Di Matteo added: "Certainly winning the Golden Boot and the Euros, along with the trophies they won with us should give them a lot of confidence. I expect him next season to be a fantastic player with us."

Di Matteo, though, said: "We have three strikers at the moment in the squad, and I would not be saying who is going to be playing. They will all have to fight for their position and there is healthy competition. Whomever is in the best form and can give the best for the team will be playing."

Chelsea may have secured Champions League glory on the back of what were resolute defensive displays to get past Barcelona in the semi-finals, but Di Matteo insists that is not the only way forward for his team.

"Chelsea have never been a defensive side over the years and won't turn into one overnight," the Italian said.

"There may be a tactical situation when you have to play like that but I can't see our club turning into a defensive side. It was successful the way we approached certain games but it was just three games and the rest of the games weren't approached like that."

Di Matteo added: "It is not a question of overhauling the squad it is a question of finding the right players to integrate into the team.

"The team will change face over time as the players move on or retire and new players come into the team."

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