Di Matteo: Chelsea to step up their preparations in America

The Blues will take their pre-season tour up a gear as players will stay on pitch for longer during friendlies, and star names are beginning to return from holiday
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo wants his side to step up preparation for the new season during their tour of America.

The Blues have played two friendlies so far against Seattle Sounders and Paris Saint-Germain with no player staying on pitch for longer than an hour in either game.

However, Di Matteo plans for players to stay on the pitch longer against the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday as they strive to gain vital match fitness ahead of the new campaign.

"Tomorrow we will have two or more players that might play the whole game, and some others up to 60 [minutes]," he told the club's official website.

"We have had many players coming back at different times due to the European Championship and we have to manage this and consider these factors in our friendly games we are going to play.

"We are looking for a good performance and good workout, to transfer all the things we have been doing in training.

"It's a team quite settled from last season and there won't be radical changes overnight. We are trying to integrate the new players but it's always nice to get a win, so we will try to do both.

"For us it's important we continue our plan for this pre-season in terms of physical workout. We are also trying to implement a few changes in the way we want to play and will work on this."

As star players are returning from their extended break after featuring at Euro 2012, Di Matteo has been unable to field his strongest squad in friendlies, but the Italian knows that it will only be a matter of time before he can pick from all available players again.

He added: "It's too early to play our strongest team. We didn't have a big amount of players starting on day one so you won't see the team until the Community Shield or Premier League, but there are a lot of senior players involved tomorrow."