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Chelsea coach Di Matteo confident of staving off threat from Guardiola


Roberto Di Matteo knows he has his destiny at Chelsea in his own hands.

The Italian coach succeeded the axed Andre Villas-Boas midway through last season, in what was always expected to be nothing but a stop-gap appointment. But after leading the Blues to the FA Cup and, more importantly, the UEFA Champions League, how could club owner Roman Abramovich not hand him the job permanently?

Di Matteo signed a two-year deal at Stamford Bridge in the summer, but still the pressure of the job remains on his shoulders. The Londoners have made a sound enough start to the Premier League campaign despite the recent loss to Manchester United, and are also handily placed to defend the European crown they won in Europe.

However, the spectre of Pep Guardiola remains on the horizon. The all-conquering former Barcelona coach is taking a year out after leaving the Camp Nou at the end of last season, and he is said to be keen on a move to England next summer. A move to Chelsea has been mooted for quite some time, but their current boss insists that as long as he continues to impress, he has little to fear.

"From day one, the speculation has always been in the papers, so it doesn't affect me too much," said Di Matteo, ahead of the all-important Champions League Group E clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night. "I have my own destiny in my hands and the club and the owner is behind it."

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