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Chelsea happy to win ugly

Updated: 2012-03-12 08:07
By Agence France-Presse in London ( China Daily)

Chelsea happy to win ugly

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba celebrates scoring in his team's English Premier League match against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge in London on Saturday. Chelsea won 1-0. Glyn Kirk / Agence France-Presse

New Blues manager wants team to continue its winning ways

Roberto Di Matteo signalled a break with Chelsea's recent past by insisting his team must adopt a stronger winning mentality.

Di Matteo oversaw a 1-0 victory over 10-man Stoke in his first Premier League game since being placed in caretaker control following the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas.

Villas-Boas maintained the importance of playing with style during his 8-month stay at the club.

But Di Matteo conceded the victory over Stoke - that came courtesy of Didier Drogba's 100th Premier League goal - had been hard fought.

And he insists Chelsea must maintain that approach during the final games of the season as it attempts to force its way into the top four.

"Today was a step in the right direction and sometimes you have to win like this to get three points," he said.

"It's not easy and sometimes you have to win scrappy. There are 10 league games to go and Tottenham could be drawn back into the fight for fourth."

Asked whether this approach marked a change in direction from that set in place by Villas-Boas, Di Matteo said: "I'm looking forward and getting the team in the right frame of mind."

Drogba proved to be his side's savior after Ricardo Fuller was sent off in the 25th minute for a stamp on Branislav Ivanovic.

The Cote d'Ivoire striker is out of contract in the summer and Di Matteo refused to be drawn on whether the club should offer the forward a new deal.

"It was a big goal for him and a winning goal for the team. His contract is a matter for the club. It's not for me to discuss. He has been a great player here."

Chelsea's focus now switches to the midweek Champions League tie with Napoli at Stamford Bridge when Di Matteo's side will attempt to overcome a 3-1, first-leg deficit.

"They are a very good team with some exceptional players, but they will face a good team and we will make it difficult for them," Di Matteo said.

Juan Mata will return to the starting lineup for that game after being left on the bench for the visit of Stoke.

The Spaniard was introduced as a first half substitute and provided the assist for Drogba's goal in the 68th minute.

Di Matteo said: "I thought it was going to be physical against Stoke, that's why I left him out."


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