Di Matteo wants Chelsea to close gap on Manchester City

The Italian believes that a combination of new signings and the solid core already at the club will make the difference as the Blues look to mount a sustained title push
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has urged his side to make up last season's 25-point difference between themselves and Premier League champions Manchester City.

Di Matteo has added Eden Hazard and Marko Marin to the ranks as he sets up a new-look side and is still chasing deals for Brazil ace Oscar, Marseille's Cesar Azpilicueta and Porto striker Hulk.

With Roman Abramovich's costly outlay, there will be immediate pressure on Di Matteo to reproduce the kind of managerial magic which saw him lead the west London outfit to FA Cup and Champions League success last season.

Wigan owner Whelan seeking £10 million for young star
The Italian told The Sun: “City have done what we did in 2004 — exploded on to the scene, signed a lot of players and tried to build a foundation.

“The challenge for us is to make up 25 points on them and that is going to be very difficult. We have to be much more consistent.

“My job now is to motivate the players and find the right team to challenge in every league game."

With Marin and Hazard, not to mention others potentially coming in, to be fitted into his 4-2-3-1 system at the club, the 42-year-old believes that getting the right balance to his side will ultimately shape their season.

“The fact that we’re going to have some hungry, new young players will help," Di Matteo noted.

“We are bringing in younger, established players like Eden Hazard and Marko Marin to become the foundation of the club over the years.

“But the spine of this team remains absolutely crucial. Petr Cech, John Terry, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, Frank Lampard — they will be vital in the integration of the new players coming in.

“It’s all about getting the right balance between being physically strong and technically able.”

Di Matteo became the first Chelsea boss to secure the Champions League and the Italian feels that it was just reward for the effort put in by the team.

5/1 Fernando Torres is 5/1 with PaddyPower to leave Chelsea in the summer transfer window

He explained: “At the end of last season, I was just exhausted. Those three months were the craziest and most amazing weeks of my life -the intensity, the emotional rollercoaster, the pressure involved in chasing so many targets.

“We were fighting for fourth place, the FA Cup and the Champions League. We had to switch from one competition to the other every few days and always find the right team selection.

“So to lift that European Cup against Bayern in Munich gave me great pride and great satisfaction. That was the reward for all our hard work together.”

"I don’t think there is an explanation for what happened," he continued.

“Ultimately, the players brought the trophy home and I was fortunate to be a part of it.

“We made history with a group of players that have been extraordinary for this club over the last decade. That achievement will always stand no matter what might happen in the future.”