The Northern EchoChelsea to make Di Matteo wait (From The Northern Echo)

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Chelsea to make Di Matteo wait

The Northern Echo: Roberto Di Matteo Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo will have to wait until the end of the season to discover whether he has a long-term future as Chelsea manager.

The Blues' form has picked up remarkably since Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas on an interim basis - culminating on Tuesday night when they completed a 3-2 aggregate win over Barcelona to reach the Champions League final. His 15 games in charge have brought 10 wins, four draws and only one defeat.

But chief executive Ron Gourlay has ruled out an early appointment as club owner Roman Abramovich and technical director Michael Emenalo continue to consider their options. "We are going to wait until the end of the season," Gourlay told the Daily Express. "Robbie has done a fantastic job but we will stick to our view."

He added on BBC Radio Five Live: "I don't want to add any pressure on anybody at the club. There is enough pressure on us as it is.

"We said we'd review things at the end of the season and that's the position we're still in. We'll see how the next few games go and then we'll sit down as we agreed."

Di Matteo certainly appears to have the support of the Chelsea players, and defender Branislav Ivanovic said: "He's changed everything.

"He gave us support, he gave us trust, and I think he's great. We have a great relationship and the results are good for us."

Ex-Blues boss Jose Mourinho will be supporting his former club in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, conquerors of Mourinho's Real Madrid, and was scathing of those who criticised his former club's defensive performance against Barca at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.

"John Terry will be missing but Chelsea are there and that is the most important thing," he said. "Chelsea were heroes.

"People who criticise them know nothing about character, effort and how a team with 10 men can resist physically, mentally and tactically. It reminded me of my own Inter Milan team two years ago. The Chelsea fans are fantastic - as are the German fans, so I hope they enjoy it and it is a great final, but I hope Chelsea win."

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