Frank Lampard hails Di Matteo's 'perfect job'

Updated: 19 May 2012 01:09 IST

Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo has been hailed as having done the "perfect job" by midfielder Frank Lampard after taking the Blues from turmoil to the Champions League final.

Frank Lampard hails Di Matteo's 'perfect job'
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MunichChelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo has been hailed as having done the :

Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo has been hailed as having done the "perfect job" by midfielder Frank Lampard after taking the Blues from turmoil to the Champions League final.

Chelsea take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena here in Saturday's final bidding to be crowned European champions for the first time after an erratic season.

Di Matteo took over as Blues coach in March after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in the wake of their 1-0 Premier League defeat at West Bromwich Albion with his side fifth in the league.

The club was in a downward spiral and on the verge of a Champions League exit after losing 3-1 at Napoli in the Round of 16 first-leg clash.

But the new Italian boss turned things around as the Blues picked up back-to-back victories before beating Napoli 4-1 in the return leg at Stamford Bridge to reach the last eight.

After beating Benfica in the quarter-finals, Chelsea stunned holders Barcelona 1-0 at home in the semis before a heroic 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou as their 10-men held out for 60 minutes after captain John Terry was sent off.

Lampard, who will captain the side in the final in the absence of the suspended Terry, says ex-defender Di Matteo has been flawless as the Blues have lost just three games of the 20 since his arrival.

"The importance you can see in the results," said the England midfielder.

"He's been very clever in how he's managed the situation.

"We were struggling for confidence, struggling on the pitch.

"Rather than come in and make drastic changes, the manager came in and spoke to everyone individually and created a confidence in the group from the training ground to the pitch.

"The first couple of results were hard work - we weren't playing very well, but we got wins.

"The Napoli game changed everything.

"From then on quietly he's done a perfect job.

"If anyone deserves to win this game tomorrow, as much as anyone its him for the job he's done."

Having played for Chelsea from 1996-2002, Di Matteo said all he has done since returning is restored battered belief.

"Confidence plays a big part in an athlete's life and it was important to remind these boys they are fantastic players and have been so for many years, you don't just lose that in half a season or so," said the 41-year-old.

"I think it was just a question of reinstalling some confidence in every individual player and into the team.

"I think the players deserve to be where they are now, they have worked so hard to get to this stage.

"Many of our players have been there before and they know how it feels not to bring the trophy home.

"The players have done well to get us here and the club and supporters all deserve it."

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