Di Matteo to rest Mata
Roberto Di Matteo concedes he must rest midfielder Juan Mata during the opening stages of the season.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 18/08/12 1:07pm
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo concedes he must rest midfielder Juan Mata during the opening stages of the season.
The Spaniard was voted the Blues' player of the season in his debut campaign last year, making 53 appearances as Chelsea landed an FA Cup and UEFA Champions League double.
Mata went on to win Euro 2012 with Spain before featuring in his country's disappointing showing at the Olympic Games, leaving Di Matteo wary of a potential burnout.
"He needs to have a break. It's important," the Italian told The Independent.
"As much as the training, it's important that you have a rest, you can recharge your batteries and come back fresh."
Di Matteo, though, plans to ease Mata into his side slowly and is believed to have struck an agreement with Spain boss Vincent del Bosque not to pick the 24-year-old for the forthcoming Autumn internationals.
"We'll plan it intelligently so that he won't be missing too much of our season," he said.
"At the end of the day, you need to look after the welfare of the player. I think it would make sense to do something like this."