Pre-season signs looking good for Blues

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Newly-appointed Chelsea assistant first team coach Roberto di Matteo found plenty of positives in the club's opening pre-season match of the summer, as the Blues ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Npower League One new boys Wycombe Wanderers, in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

At the club's Cobham training ground on Tuesday, Yossi Benayoun, Fernando Torres and Slobodan Rajkovic all found the net for Andre Villas-Boas' side, and Di Matteo was happy to see some of the new manager’s philosophies already being put into practice.

"It was a good exercise for the players. We were looking to put into practice the work we have done in the first six days of training and we have seen some positive work, good attitude from the players and generally we were pretty pleased with the outcome," the former West Brom boss told the club's official website.

"Despite the fact we only scored three times, we created a lot of chances, hit the post twice and missed a number of chances, but that's a healthy sign for any team when you create chances. There was some good possession during the game and the transition was good, in that when we lost the ball we quite quickly won it back again, so there are positive signs."


The former Chelsea midfield favourite revealed that a handful of youngsters will get the chance to strut their stuff during the pre-season campaign, starting against Portsmouth on Saturday before their pre-season tour of Asia begins in earnest.

"The manager wants to have a look at the young players in the club. We have had a number of them training with us from day one and some of them have impressed as well," he continued.

"We are pretty pleased and will continue to monitor them and give them a chance to show their value. Some of them will travel with us to Asia too. On Saturday at Portsmouth we are probably looking at giving the players a similar number of minutes again, in a similar format.

"It will obviously be a bit more competitive because they are a Championship side and it will be a tough test. Then we fly to Asia and be travelling around a little bit with four games. It is a busy schedule."

Meanwhile, Salomon Kalou says he’s happy to be back with his teammates after a relatively short summer holiday, and is most excited about the way the club is working and progressing under Villas-Boas.

"We see that everything is with the ball," Kalou told ChelseaTV. "Before, you start more with the running first before even going to the ball. So that's a big difference. Everyone is looking forward to the season, everyone is excited about the way we're working."

Kalou went into more detail about the training regimen under Villas-Boas, and it seems the new Blues boss is putting an emphasis on technical ability and ball skills rather than the traditional fitness element that often dominates pre-season.

"Every session is with the ball so everyone likes it and enjoys it," Kalou added. "You don't have to do a lot of running. Everything you do, you use the ball, so it's good for everyone to be back and see everyone."

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