Belfast Telegraph

Points matter to Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo insisted the three points were all that mattered as Chelsea stuttered to a 1-0 win over 10-man Stoke.

But caretaker Blues manager Di Matteo admitted his side would need to improve to overturn a two-goal deficit against Napoli in Wednesday night's Champions League clash. The Italians, who won their own build-up match 6-3 on Friday night, would not have been overawed by Chelsea, with Didier Drogba ending Stoke's resistance with his 100th Barclays Premier League goal.

Di Matteo said: "You can discuss what you want about the past. I'm focused on going forward and getting the team in the right frame of mind to be able to win the next game."

The win lifted the Blues back level on points with fourth-placed Arsenal as Di Matteo made it two wins - and two clean sheets - from his first two matches at the helm.

The 41-year-old's reaction to the scrappy victory was in sharp contrast to the attitude of the sacked Andre Villas-Boas, whose obsession with attractive football was arguably one of the reasons behind his downfall.

He added: "Sometimes during the season, we have to win like this to get the three points. It's not always going to be easy and pretty."

Asked what Napoli spies would have made of Saturday's performance, Di Matteo said: "You should ask them, I don't know. Last two games, we won, we scored three goals, we have two clean sheets.

"Like this, you gain some confidence and belief. That's how we have to go forward."

Di Matteo's name was sung by the Chelsea crowd as the clock ticked down towards the final whistle but he once again sidestepped questions about whether he would like to be manager full-time.

He said: "From tonight on, now we'll be focusing on Napoli. Anything else is not in my mind."


From Belfast Telegraph