Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic believes Roberto Di Matteo should be given the job as manager at Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis – even if they suffer defeat in both the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
Since Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in March, Di Matteo has completely changed the club’s fortunes, guiding them to 10 wins and four draws in 15 matches, as well as earning places in two major finals.
Russian owner Roman Abramovich is believed to prefer a manager with more trophies to his name, but Ivanovic is adamant Di Matteo can add to the club’s trophy cabinet.
Ivanovic told The Observer: “In football it's very difficult to look far in the future but at the moment and for the last two months if you ask us, we'll tell you he is our manager and he deserves this job.
"He is a great manager and we enjoy working with him. If we win these two finals, I hope he will stay with us, but I also hope it doesn't matter on these results."
The Serbian has praised the man-management style of the former Chelsea midfielder and West Brom boss, saying he has rejuvenated the players by instilling confidence in them and letting them play the way they want to.
The 28-year-old added: “The first couple of games were the most important for him and for us.
"We started to play to win: it didn't matter how. He gave us a bit more confidence and allowed us to feel the game a little more when we're on the field. Once we got more confidence, he built on this base.
“His tactics are more natural. He organised our team and players to get the best from the players. He does not try to put a strategy on the players, he does the opposite: his approach is that if the players have these qualities, then we must do everything to show these qualities.
"He's great for us and we really enjoy working with him. He was a great player not a long time ago so he feels football here and knows what's going to happen and when he has to be strong in the dressing room and make us quiet and more focused. Everything about his football is great."