Mar 9 2012 By Yann Tear
ROBERTO Di Matteo believes he can get all the players pulling in the same direction to clinch a Champions League place for next season.
The Italian stepped into the Chelsea hotseat after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas on Sunday, and arguably has to persuade that he is more than a mere extension of the previous regime that some of the players came to mistrust.
But Villa-Boas' former assistant is convinced he will be able to get the most from the players in his spell as interim coach.
“I feel I have everybody onside,” Di Matteo said.
“I've spoken to almost all of the players now over these five days. I believe this is a team effort and we need everybody to pull in the same direction.
“They all know what the task is over the next two months and they're all on board. I think you saw that from the reaction on Tuesday night [in the win at Birmingham in the FA Cup] and this is what we just have to carry on until the end of the season.
“I've thrown myself into the work and just trying to speak to the players individually to get them on board and in the right frame of mind for the rest of the season.”
Chelsea's new coach continued: “I don't want to spend time on what's gone wrong. I want to look to the future. I have two months left here to achieve our targets and that's what I will spend my energy on. You can't change the past and you have to look forward.
“We're fifth in the table. We've obviously made mistakes, but we are strong and we have a good team and we want to show that we are better than where we are at the moment. We have to win games.
“But we have a great squad here, with great players and I just have to try and get the best out of these guys to try and win our games.
"We are confident that we have the power and the strength to achieve fourth place.”