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Chelsea interim boss Di Matteo says playing Champions League next season is vital

March 7, 2012 - London

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has said finishing in the top four this season is more important for the club than winning the FA Cup.

He has said the players' wants to play in the Champions League next season and that is their main aim now.

Chelsea advanced in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup after beating Birmingham City 2-0 away on Tuesday. Midfielders Juan Mata and Raul Meireles were the goal scorers for the Blues.

"We have to play Champions League next season. For us it's vital to finish fourth. That is the target," The Mirror Football quoted Di Matteo, as saying.

"It's not about me. It's about these players, this club. The club is bigger than the previous managers, the future managers, and me. Players win the games for you, but we have to perform and achieve targets," he said.

"Only time will tell how difficult or easy it will be. We don't like where we are in the table, and it'll be very tough to achieve what we want to achieve. But we have a duty to try. We have good players and we have a duty to try that," Di Matteo added.

As if to illustrate Di Matteo's point, senior players like Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien were all left on the bench and were joined by captain John Terry, who was a surprise inclusion in the match-day squad despite being expected to be out for a lengthy period with a knee injury.


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