Juan Mata admits it's been a difficult week in life at Chelsea football club, but praised his teammates for the resilient performance at Birmingham on Tuesday night to help book their place in the sixth round of the FA Cup.
The 23-year-old Spaniard continued his run of scoring in every round of England's premier cup competition, when he broke the deadlock to help the Blues on their way to a comfortable 2-0 victory at St Andrews.
Following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking on Sunday, Roberto Di Matteo has been appointed as interim manager for the remainder of the campaign, and Mata has urged the Chelsea players to look forward as they enter a critical stage of the season.
"The win was important, talking about confidence for the team and a new start with a good run of results for us," he told Chelsea's official website. "It was very important for the team to win and we are very happy for the 2-0.
"This week was not easy for us with a change of the manager, but when you are on the pitch you are always thinking of giving your best, trying to win and that's what we did.
"We were sad because it is always a difficult moment when a club changes its manager. He is a very good manager and a very good person, but now we keep working without him.
"Andre was a very good manager, a very good person as well and we are very grateful to him of course."
The former Valencia man was brought to Stamford Bridge by Villas-Boas in August, and has been one of the club's standout performers this season - something that the Portuguese tactician deserves at least a little praise for.
"With Andre I played a lot of games, and for me he was important," Mata added. "I came here first for the club, but as well for him, and he gave me a lot of confidence, so for this I am very grateful to him.
"The most important thing now is to think of Roberto Di Matteo, who is our coach, and to finish well in these two months. He is a very good guy as well, he knows Chelsea from the inside and used to play here. We are all with him because it's what we have to do."
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