Caretaker Blues boss Di Matteo is confident his squad will not hold back in Wednesday night’s crucial Barclays Premier League game against Newcastle, regardless of the match taking place less than three days before their Wembley meeting with Liverpool.
The Stamford Bridge clash against the Magpies is arguably more important than Saturday’s showpiece, with Di Matteo’s number one priority ensuring Chelsea qualify for next season’s Champions League.
And while the Italian has not resorted to banning any mention of the final ahead of Wednesday’s game, he left no doubt where his focus lay.
“We’ve not talked about it at all,” he said of the Liverpool game, insisting he had yet to pick his team for Wembley.
“I’m deciding for the game tomorrow [Wednesday]. We’ll see how the game goes tomorrow [Wednesday] and then I’ll be thinking about Saturday.”
Asked if that meant performances against Newcastle would be taken into account, he said:
“Yes. Not just tomorrow [Wednesday].
“I look a little bit more back and look at maybe the last three or four weeks and the way we played and the different players in positions and so on.”
It would only be human for players to subconsciously hold back on Wednesday for fear of injuring themselves, but Di Matteo said:
“We cannot allow ourselves to think like that and I think we’ve shown before that we don’t do that, in the semi-final against Spurs before the Champions League semi-final, and at Arsenal and so on.
“I don’t think that’ll be an issue for us.
“We know how important the game is tomorrow [Wednesday] for our club and the players who are going to be playing will be fully committed.”