Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gourlay - We had to change

Chief executive praises 'phenomenal' turnaround under Di Matteo




Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has reiterated that the club 'had to make a change' in manager after Roberto Di Matteo oversaw UEFA Champions League glory.
Di Matteo was handed the role of interim manager in early March after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked following a disappointing run of results.
Morale within the squad had reportedly dipped under Villas-Boas and Di Matteo has been praised for restoring the players' confidence during just over two months in charge.
The Italian strengthened his claims to be handed the job on a full-time basis by following up victory in the FA Cup final by leading Chelsea to a penalty shoot-out success over Bayern Munich in the Champions League showpiece on Saturday night.


Reflecting on Chelsea's season, Gourlay told Sky Sports News: "It's been up and down. We prepared very well. We started the season in Asia with our preparation and we prepared very, very well.
"We started reasonably well with results, but we hit a bad period around the November, December, January period. We were working very hard, but the performances and results just weren't there.
"We had to make a change. We brought Robbie in as interim manager until the end of the season and we've seen a phenomenal change in the run of results which finished last night with winning the Champions League."
He added: "It's been so challenging the last couple of months with lots of rumours about a broken dressing room and things like that which was never true.
"Everyone has seen last night how much the team are together."
Chelsea's hierarchy are now due to take their time to decide whether to stick with Di Matteo or go for a different manager, with an appointment expected to be concluded before the pre-season tour to the United States.
"We've just been so overwhelmed with winning the trophy," Gourlay replied when asked about making a decision on Di Matteo.
"There's a number of things to look at. We'll have a look at it and review where we are. It's been a phenomenal turnaround really."

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