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Di Matteo: Final won't decide my future
Published : 14 May 2012 06:17:07
Roberto Di Matteo insists he will have "no problem" if winning the Champions League fails to convince Chelsea to give him the manager's job full-time.
Caretaker boss Di Matteo gave his clearest hint yet that he does not expect owner Roman Abramovich to keep him on beyond the end of the season following Saturday's Barclays Premier League win over Blackburn. The 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge could be Di Matteo's final home game at the helm and he gave little away in his post-match lap of honour
His post-match press conference, however, was a different matter. Asked if he thought the outcome of Saturday's Champions League final would determine whether he was at the club next season, Di Matteo said: "I don't think so, no, but I have no problem with it."
Di Matteo added of the lap of honour: "We've had a very intense nine weeks here together and it's been fantastic. And we are all looking forward to next Saturday as well. It's been very emotional because I feel very responsible with this club because I've played here, I've been part of it, so it's been a nice day."
The Italian revealed that fight would "probably" go right up to the day of the game. Di Matteo rested all of his likely starters against Bayern Munich, although Didier Drogba did come off the bench to make what could also be his farewell Stamford Bridge appearance.
Florent Malouda is one of those who played who was set to be in the squad at the Allianz Arena but the winger failed to complete the first half. Di Matteo said: "We took him off - precautionary - with a little problem with his hamstring. We'll assess him over the next day or two but hopefully he'll recover as soon as possible."
Unlike Di Matteo, Steve Kean was adamant he would still be in charge at Blackburn next season, despite their relegation to the npower Championship. Kean, who will meet the club's owners in India this week, said the rebuilding job "starts straight away".
He added: "We also have to try and fight for the players we have because, no doubt, other clubs will be swarming around and try and take them. That's the first part of the rebuild - making sure you keep the squad together."
One of those players is goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who was wearing a protective boot as he watched from the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damaged. Kean said: "It doesn't need surgery but it does need five to six weeks in that boot before the tendon and the ligament can heal."