x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Roberto Di Matteo turns deaf ear to work on things he 'can influence'

The Italian doesn't care what critics write and is only focusing on the things he can directly affect, such as preparing Chelsea to face Wigan Athletic.

Roberto Di Matteo says what he reads in the media occasionally makes him smile and that in the end he only focuses on what he 'can influence'.
Roberto Di Matteo says what he reads in the media occasionally makes him smile and that in the end he only focuses on what he 'can influence'.

 

Roberto Di Matteo will not listen to his critics as he attempts to prove Roman Abramovich was right to appoint him full-time Chelsea manager.

Despite masterminding Chelsea's maiden Champions League glory as caretaker manager, Di Matteo is having to work under the knowledge that he was not owner Roman Abramovich's first choice for the permanent job.

The National revealed last year that Pep Guardiola was approached for the job after quitting Barcelona and his lingering availability during a season-long sabbatical arguably has left Di Matteo under unprecedented pressure.

Ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener at Wigan Athletic, the Italian said: "People write and talk, and I respect what people want to say and sometimes it makes me smile. I get on with my job. That's the only thing I can influence - try to do my best and prepare my team as well as I can. When you have to lead a club like this, you know it's a pressurised job.

"I felt responsible last season, there was a lot at stake, and the same this year. This club means a lot to me and I will try and do everything I can to be successful here."

Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, is just eager to start the season, and said: "This is one of those moments when you get a real exciting feeling in your body, you have the new faces and the players have been working really well."

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