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The Blues' interim boss, who has presided over a successful run at Stamford Bridge, believes that he and his players must focus on Champions League qualification and cup matches

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has denied holding talks to take the job full time.

The Blues beat Barcelona 1-0 on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, their European success under the Italian coming alongside a run to the FA Cup final and an upturn in the Premier League.

However, although his future at Stamford Bridge remains uncertain, the Italian insisted that he is only dealing with the challenge at hand.

“I don't think it's important right now to speak about anything like that,” Di Matteo told reporters on Friday.

“Our focus is on playing these games. We don't have time to think about anything else [and] I don't think there's a time limit to anything like that.

“At the moment, that's not the focus of anybody because it's not important. We've got more important aspects to think about.”

The Italian added: "I've always had a good relationship with our supporters."

“That goes back to the days when I was a player and it continued after I retired.

“It will continue whatever happens with myself. I will always be connected to this club and with the supporters, anywhere I'm going to be in the future.”

Although Chelsea’s end-of-season schedule is packed, with the FA Cup final and potentially two more Champions League games to fit in, Di Matteo is delighted with its current situation.

“Six weeks ago, if anybody would've told you that we were in this position now, we would've been very happy,” he insisted.

The Londoners’ 5-1 win over Tottenham in the FA Cup semifinal was followed only three days later by their victory over Barca, and Di Matteo confessed that the Blues have been largely unable to dwell on their successes.

“The semifinal against Spurs was a great win but there was no time to enjoy it, and this one in midweek the same," he observed, "because, after the game, you start thinking about Arsenal already."

Despite its continental progress, Chelsea sits sixth in the Premier League and currently outside of Champions League qualification as it prepares to visit Arsenal on Saturday.

“Unfortunately, we have to play catch up - that's been from day one," Di Matteo noted.

“So, every game that we've played in the league is crucial, and this is another one.”

Upon hearing that the Gunners have not won a league match without the injured Mikel Arteta's involvement this season, Di Matteo laughed: “Good!

“But they have a good squad, they have a lot of good-quality players. We're going to be missing some players.”


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