Gullit, one of Di Matteo’s predecessors as
Di Matteo has precious few alternatives to £50m signing Torres because the club elected not to buy a striker over the summer.
Speaking after Wednesday’s
Torres has scored two Premier League goals so far this season but his recent
performances have been less impressive. The only other striker in Di
Matteo’s squad, Daniel Sturridge, is injured and unavailable to face
But Di Matteo said: “We’re happy with him. Even when he doesn’t score he either provides or works hard for the team. There are no issues for us. He’s always keeping defenders busy, moving and doing the right stuff. He’s full of confidence and he’s playing well and scoring goals. He hasn’t scored in the last couple [of games] but he’s scored before.
“Bringing in others is not in discussion at the moment. We are happy with our forward and hopefully Sturridge will be fit soon as well.”
Di Matteo will certainly start Torres against Stoke and will also field midfielder John Obi Mikel, who made a crucial mistake that led to Juve’s equaliser in midweek and subsequently suffered racist abuse on his Twitter account.
Mikel has since deleted his account and Chelsea have not only reported the incident to police but also promised that if any of the racist Tweets were posted by Chelsea season ticket holders they will be banned from Stamford Bridge.
Di Matteo said: “I had a good conversation with Mikel and he has handled it well. It’s something not nice to receive, but he is fine.
“I have faith in him. He’s done extremely well for us in the position he plays. It’s a bit of a dirty job there to break up play; and it doesn’t always get recognised. We all make mistakes – but we go forward all together.”
Chelsea, who have declared midweek hero Oscar fit to play on Saturday will be under pressure to beat Stoke following owner Roman Abramovich’s visit to Cobham in midweek, when he asked to know why his side threw away victory against Juventus
“I have to focus on my job and try and prepare the team,” insisted Di Matteo. “That’s what I focus on. He’s been here many, many times before.
“We weren’t happy about the result we got on Wednesday for sure. It wasn’t a happy camp. We have to try and pick ourselves up and go again.”
Di Matteo would not say how long the club will allow John Terry to take off
next week while he fights an FA charge over alleged racial abuse aimed at
Anton Ferdinand last year. Terry, who denies the charge, will attend a
disciplinary hearing at a secret London location which begins on Monday and
is expected to last two to three days. Terry looks almost certain to miss
the League Cup clash with
Terry was cleared of abusing Ferdinand at Westminster Magistrates Court
earlier this summer but after delaying their own investigation into the
incident, the FA decided there was enough evidence to bring their own action
against the former England captain. Ferdinand declined to shake hands with
either Terry or Ashley Cole, who is expected to appear again as a witness
for Terry, when Chelsea played