• Premier League

Di Matteo not fazed by Pep talk

ESPN staff
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Roberto Di Matteo was calm in the face of a media frenzy © PA Photos
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Roberto Di Matteo has shrugged off suggestions that he is merely keeping the Chelsea manager's seat warm for Pep Guardiola.

Di Matteo was recently confirmed as Chelsea's new boss, some six weeks after guiding the club to Champions League glory.

The Italian is determined to seize his chance and take Chelsea back to the top of the domestic tree, but there is a widely-held belief that Guardiola is already being lined up as his replacement. Guardiola is taking a year out of the game following his exit from Barcelona but Di Matteo is not fazed by talk of him being in the Spaniard's shadow.

"I don't feel any shadow above me or behind me," Di Matteo said. "There has been speculation about other managers since day one and I have always lived with it pretty well.

"Everyone can say what they want. I will just focus on my job and try to do the best I can.

"I'm pretty happy with my new contract and that's why I signed it. But I have been in football all my life and I understand how this business works. I clearly know that managers are judged by results.

"It's no different for me than anyone else. The pressure is always there.

"Chelsea are always looking to win things and last season was not easy even if the end of the campaign was a pretty fantastic time."

It took some time for Di Matteo to be confirmed as Chelsea's manager, but it is not something that caused him any real concern.

He said: "I understand why it took a bit of time for the club to come to their decision and I respect the way everything has been handled.

"It wasn't a case of not talking to me for four weeks. We were always in touch and there was contact from other clubs. I was actually pretty relaxed about the whole thing.

"There was no time limit on it because it was an important decision for the club and I have no problems with that at all.

"There were never any doubts for me and I'm very happy to be here.

"Now I'm looking forward to working with this group of players and bringing more success to the club."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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