Blues keep faith in Torres

Assistant boss Di Matteo backs misfiring striker to come good

Fernando Torres: Has started Chelsea's last four games on the bench

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Roberto Di Matteo is adamant Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has not lost confidence in misfiring striker Fernando Torres.

The Spaniard will look to end four successive games on the bench by starting against his former club Liverpool in the Carling Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday night.

Torres has failed to live up to expectations since his £50million switch from Merseyside in January.


The Spaniard has scored five times in 32 appearances and has been left frustrated at Villas-Boas' decision to keep him on the bench in the club's last four games despite a rotten run that has seen the Blues drop to fifth in the Premier League.

The 34-year-old Chelsea boss could turn to the World Cup-winning striker for Tuesday's game at Stamford Bridge, however, as he prepares to shuffle his pack ahead of a crucial month in the league and Europe.

Torres looked keen to make an impact when he came on in the closing stages of Chelsea's 3-0 win over Wolves on Saturday, and assistant boss Di Matteo is confident the striker will come good soon despite failing to score in his last six games for club and country.

Di Matteo said: "There are a lot of positive signs (with Torres). I know we all expect our strikers to score, but if they don't, you look at their performance in the team. We've been pleased.

"The goals will come, no doubt. He's got great talent and has scored goals before. He knows what to do and how to do it, and we have a lot of faith in him as well.

"He knows that. There's a lot of competition and he'll play many games. There'll be opportunities to be in the team and show the quality."


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Although Di Matteo would not confirm whether Torres would start Tuesday's game, giving the 27-year-old a place in the first XI would make sense given he would have a golden chance to gather more confidence against what is expected to be a youthful Reds side.

The game will also be a chance for Chelsea youngsters Josh McEachran and Romelu Lukaku to make an impact after they struggled to break into the first-team this year.

McEachran, 18, was tipped for big things when he forced his way in to the first-team squad last year, but has only started two games under Villas-Boas - both of which came in the Carling Cup.

Despite dropping down the pecking order following the arrivals of Oriol Romeu and Raul Meireles, Di Matteo insists the midfielder still has a big future at the club, but admitted he may be sent out on loan in January.


"I think Josh is a great talent and a good player," said Di Matteo, who enjoyed six successful years at the heart of the Blues midfield.

"The competition he has comes from senior international players. He has to crack into that.

"What happens in January we don't know yet, and we'll assess the situation then. But he'll definitely be the future of this club."