Zola backs Di Matteo to succeed
Former Blues favourite backs fellow Italian at helm
By Razwan Mirza. Last Updated: March 7, 2012 6:49pm
Gianfranco Zola has backed former Chelsea team-mate Roberto Di Matteo to be a big success at Stamford Bridge.
Di Matteo was placed in charge of handling the West London giants until the end of the season as caretaker manager by the club's owner Roman Abramovich following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking on Sunday.
The 41-year-old made an instant impact at the helm by leading Chelsea to the FA Cup quarter-finals thanks to a comfortable win at Birmingham in a fifth-round replay on Tuesday evening.
And former Blues legend Zola insists his fellow Italian Di Matteo has what it takes to lead the club to a Premier League top four finish and win the FA Cup or UEFA Champions League this season.
Zola said: "I do hope it's going to be like this.
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"Roberto has got a big opportunity and I personally believe he's got the qualities to do a good job.
"I really hope that he's going to do well.
"He's a Chelsea boy as well, he's a Chelsea hero, and so he's well represented."
The former West Ham boss believes now is the time for the whole club to stick together, saying: "When you want to achieve something, one of the main things is to stick together.
"Only by doing that can you go through the difficulties.
"I think it is the moment where Chelsea players, managers, club, and supporters have to do that."
He added: "We really want the team to be a success - we really want it.
"It must be very painful for whoever is still involved in the club to see them struggle.
"But we should not forget that Chelsea, in the last 10 years, is one of the teams that in this country has won, along with Manchester United, the most.
"Sometimes, seasons can be low like this one.
"But it is an opportunity to get better, to improve and to become stronger than before."