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English Premier League 2015-16

Take over from Mourinho? I want him to stay at Chelsea long-term, insists Roberto Di Matteo

Former Blues manager says he’s not interested in a return to Stamford Bridge

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 November, 2015, 10:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 November, 2015, 11:30am

Roberto Di Matteo, the manager when Chelsea won the Champions League by beating Bayern Munich on penalties at the German club's Allianz Arena in 2012, is hoping current boss Jose Mourinho remains at the helm for a long time.

The Portuguese has come under severe pressure for the way the Premier League champions have started the season, plunging to fifth from bottom having lost seven of their opening 12 games.

“I really hope Mourinho is going to stay long term, stability is so important for the club,” said Italian Di Matteo.

It can happen that you have a bad year but there is so much quality in the team and the club has one of the best managers in the world
Roberto Di Matteo

“We have short memories but only four months ago we won the [league and League Cup] double,” added the former Chelsea midfielder as he attended the opening of a new ice cream parlour in London part-owned by former team mate Gianfranco Zola.

“Chelsea have been so successful for the last 15 years and it can happen that you have a bad year but there is so much quality in the team and the club has one of the best managers in the world.”

Di Matteo, who had a six-year playing spell at Chelsea from 1996-2002, took over as interim manager when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in March 2012 and led the club to Champions League and FA Cup final glory two months later.

The Italian then had a short spell in charge of Schalke 04 before he was fired by the Bundesliga team five months ago.

Zola, who was appointed coach of Qatari side Al Arabi in July, agreed that Chelsea were too good to struggle for long.

“There is one compelling reason for the poor start to the season,” said the former Italy striker. “The poor form of key offensive players Eden Hazard and Diego Costa has not helped.

“Defensively as well the team has dropped the standards set last year so the players have lost confidence as a group and this has led to poor results. The club has it in them to turn around their fortunes.”