Di Matteo expects Pompey pressure

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Chelsea assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo is expecting a tough challenge from Npower Championship side Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The two sides, who met in the 2010 final of the competition, go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge in the third round of the competition, and sees 34-year-old Andre Villas-Boas take on 36-year-old Pompey boss Michael Appleton.

And Di Matteo is no stranger to the management style of Appleton, with the former Manchester United academy graduate working under the Italian during his spell in charge of West Bromwich Albion.

"When I was appointed manager at West Brom, he was the reserve team manager, and then I took him into the first team set up and Eddie Newton, Ade Mafe my fitness coach and I worked together for the period I was there," he told the official Blues website.


"It was very enjoyable, very interesting to hear different views. Michael was responsible for set-play organisation and also he was involved in training sessions on a daily basis, some days a bit more than others, and we worked very closely together as a team.

"He always expressed that one day he was going to try to become a manager and I always supported him in that. We had a good working relationship and now he has gone his own way."

Whilst the pair haven't spoken for some time, Di Matteo is pleased to see one of his former team doing well on the south coast.

He's also looking forward to wishing Appleton all the best at Fratton Park, but will be hoping it's after Sunday's clash that things pick-up for Pompey.

"It seems like they might have a new owner very soon. I hope that is going to happen for him and they will have some more financial resources," added Di Matteo.

"I sent him my best regards but I haven't spoken to him. I think we will catch up at the game but it will have to be quickly because we are both going to be very busy, but I wish him all the best - after Sunday."

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