Football

Mata admits Chelsea must ‘start again’

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Villas-Boas bought Mata to Chelsea last summer (©GettyImages)
Villas-Boas bought Mata to Chelsea last summer (©GettyImages).

Juan Mata has admitted Chelsea are struggling in the aftermath of Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking on Sunday – but says there is still enough time left to turn around their season.

 

Villas-Boas was shown the door at Stamford Bridge after his side succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against West Brom - a result that left Chelsea 20 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City having won just three of their last 12 league outings.

 

Assistant coach Roberto di Matteo has been put in charge until the end of the season, although media speculation has linked former Blues boss Jose Mourinho with a return to Stamford Bridge as well as former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.

 

While reports suggest player power had something to do with Villas-Boas’ departure, Mata says that the team are ready to fall in line under di Matteo in order to salvage something from their season.

 

"I think we have to start again," Mata told Chelsea TV.

 

"We are not in a good moment, we are not in a good run of results, but we all want to change it. I think we are ready to change it.

 

"We have a very good squad and we have two months to achieve our objectives in the Premier League, in the FA Cup and Champions League."

 

With their title hopes long since extinguished and their hopes of qualifying for the quarter finals of the Champions League hanging by a thread after defeat in their last 16 first leg tie against Napoli last month, qualification for Europe’s leading club competition and F.A Cup success are the Blues only remaining targets this season.

 

They now sit three points behind Arsenal in fourth and seven points adrift of Tottenham in 3rd, with Villas-Boas insisting just days before he was sacked that a fifth place finish is 'not an option' for a club like Chelsea.

 

Di Matteo’s first game in charge is the F.A Cup fifth round replay against Birmingham on Tuesday, with crucial games in the Premier League to come against Stoke and Manchester City either side of their second leg tie against Napoli.

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Juan Mata
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