CHELSEA, Di Matteo: "Game by game"
© foto di Daniele Buffa/Image Sport
Roberto Di Matteo has been looking ahead to the visit of Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, and insisted his side will have no problems turning their attentions back to domestic action following our Champions league success in Barcelona.
Following a gruelling run of fixtures over the past few weeks, Di Matteo has utilised the depth of his squad as best as possible, with impressive results thus far.
Surprisingly, following our midweek exertions in Barcelona, there is only one fresh injury doubt for the visit of Queens Park Rangers, as the Italian admitted.
'Gary Cahill and David Luiz won't be available for Sunday's game,' he said. 'We will need to assess them both ahead of the next game but they won't be ready for the weekend.
'At the moment, we hope that Cahill will recover as quickly as possible, but when he's going to be fit we cannot say for certain.
'We've got one suspension still with Branislav Ivanovic, but apart from that everybody is available. I need to select a balanced, strong team to win the game.'
Di Matteo will be up against a former Chelsea teammate on Sunday when Mark Hughes brings his side to Stamford Bridge.
Up until a few weeks ago, the Loftus Road side looked destined for the drop after a woeful run of results. However, recent victories against the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool have given them hope of consolidating their top-flight status, and Di Matteo is well aware of the type of threat they will pose.
'We take it game by game as we always have done. We will try to win on Sunday to keep our Champions League qualification hopes alive and then we will take the next game on,' said the interim first team coach.
'It will be a tough game because they are fighting against relegation, we know how tough it will be to play a team in that position, we played Wigan a short time ago and it was very tough.'
On Champions League Final
The 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou in midweek secured our place in the Champions League final on 19 May against Bayern Munich, who eliminated Real Madrid the following night.
Di Matteo admitted he had no preference as to which team we would face, but with the game being played at the Allianz Arena, Bayern's home stadium, we will need to be at our very best to ensure we land the trophy.
'Once you qualify for a final you will play against strong opposition, Bayern are a historic team with a big tradition in European competitions, they will play at their home ground as well, so it will be as difficult, if not more difficult, than a game against Madrid,' Di Matteo argued.
'It's a one-off game and we go into it with the same chance. Whether it will be an advantage to them [playing at home] we will only know after the game. When you set the players or stadium for the final, you don't know who will be there, so it's impossible to know beforehand, it's just a bit of a coincidence.
'I feel disappointed that all these players will miss the final through suspension. It would be good if both teams had their whole squads available, they might have to have a look at the law and the rules for the future.'
On his future
An incredible sequence of results has seen us lose only once in 15 matches since Di Matteo was placed in charge a couple of months ago.
Unsurprisingly, the impressive 3-2 aggregate victory over Barcelona has seen his stock rise further, prompting calls for him to be made permanent manager, but for now, his main focus is on overseeing a successful culmination to the campaign.
'My future at this stage of the season is irrelevant, what's important is the spirit of the group, we are feeling positive and we have to keep this momentum going until the end of the season,' he said.
'It's amazing that this group of players have responded so positively and so well to the difficulties we've faced this season. It's proven a difficult season for us, we want to finish fourth in the league and we have two finals to play to try and finish the season successfully.'
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