After today’s Wigan game, Roberto Di Matteo admitted the crowded fixture list is testing his squad’s ability to keep on winning.
‘After you play a midweek game in the Champions League there is always a concern that you might have a little hangover for the weekend game, it is something thatall the clubs still in the Champions League have to deal with,’ said Di Matteo.
‘Even though I tried to energise the team with a number of changes, in the first half we didn’t really get into the game. The intensity was low and the passing was slow and there is always that concern when we play midweek.
‘It shows the personality in this group and that the spirit, belief and the confidence are strong because even when we concede we react to it.’
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez complained that both Chelsea‘s goals should have been flagged offside. The first was turned in by Branislav Ivanovic for his fourth goal in his last six games.
‘That is a great thing, we seem to be getting goals from everywhere and it makes us more unpredictable and takes pressure off the strikers,’ said Di Matteo.
‘I haven’t seen replays of the goals so I can’t comment on the decisions but despite all that, Wigan were unlucky not get something out of the game because they played really well.’
Chelsea now face a local derby with Fulham on Monday night and John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Ramires, who missed today’s game due to illness, will be have their availability assessed on Sunday.
‘I think the players have accepted that we are a group and the spirit of the group is very strong,’ declared Di Matteo. ‘They realise that everybody is needed to reach targets and we need all 25 players to come through.
‘We are in the position in the league unfortunately that we have to win every game and we are pleased we got three points. Even though it wasn’t a sparkling performance, it shows the strength of the team.’