Chelsea captain John Terry yesterday urged his Chelsea teammates to help Roberto Di Matteo land the manager’s job full-time by winning tomorrow’s FA Cup final. Terry issued a ringing endorsement of caretaker boss Di Matteo ahead of the Wembley showpiece against Liverpool. Clinching the FA Cup would boost Di Matteo’s hopes of convincing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to hand him the reins permanently, something that would have the full backing of former team-mate Terry.
“It would do him no harm at all. He’s obviously done very well in the league and all competitions to get us where we are today,” Terry said.
“To win it (the cup) will put himself in a very good position. He’s not thinking of that at the moment, he’s not letting the players get distracted by anything.
“He’s very passionate, he’s Chelsea through and through, and that’s certainly rubbed off on the players.“So, if we can do it with the added bonus that Robbie can get the job at the end, that’d be great,” he added. Di Matteo has transformed Chelsea’s season since replacing the sacked Andre Villas-Boas two months ago and is also on the brink of leading them to Champions League glory.
Terry added: “He’s done really well and you often see actually when teams are not going so well, a change of management can really help things along, and it’s certainly done that since he’s come in.
Terry insisted Chelsea’s players never lost faith they could salvage something from their season, even when others had. “If you look at the quality we’ve got throughout the squad, it’s always been here,” he said. Terry admitted victory today would be the ideal way to prepare for the Champions League final a fortnight later, which Chelsea will almost certainly have to win to qualify for next season’s competition following Wednesday’s crushing defeat to Newcastle.
Chelsea vs Liverpool: Key clashes
>> Terry vs Suarez
With the Chelsea captain suspended for the Champions League final, the centre-back will be doubly determined to impress at Wembley but faces a test keeping Suarez quiet. The Uruguay international will try to drag Terry out of position with his constant movement and then expose the
31-year-old for pace.
>> Mikel vs Gerrard
As the main defensive shield in midfield, Mikel will be charged with tracking Gerrard’s attacking runs.
>> Lampard vs Spearing
Lampard is good at finding space and creating goalscoring chances in the penalty area and Spearing’s job as the sole defensive midfielder will be to restrict the Chelsea man’s time on with the ball.
>> Drogba vs Skrtel
Drogba’s physical presence and aerial ability are a handful for most defenders but Skrtel has been Liverpool’s best player this season and a more aggressive approach has helped him consistently dominate opponents.