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Di Matteo denies knifing AVB in the back

20 Mar 2012, March 20, 2012 - Roberto Di Matteo has insisted he did not play a part in the departure of Andre Villas-Boas from Chelsea.
Villas-Boas was axed by Chelsea earlier in March, with Di Matteo handed the reins until the end of the season, with it widely reported that he had lost the support of leading figures within the dressing room.
Di Matteo has admitted things were far from ideal at Stamford Bridge in the weeks leading up to Villas-Boas' departure, but has denied that he stabbed the Portuguese in the back.
"I did my best and Andre knows it," Di Matteo told Eurosport-Yahoo! "I did not conspire against him and all the decisions we took, we took together. I have always behaved with the utmost professionalism and loyalty towards the club, the staff, the team and fans."
Di Matteo was a surprise appointment on a deal until the end of the season, but he feels he was deserving of his chance to step up.
"He is a great manager and a great person and I will always respect him a lot," Di Matteo said. "But I did not hesitate when I was offered this chance. I deserve my new role. How can you hesitate when you have the opportunity to manage one of the most important football clubs in the world?
"All new managers inevitably replace a colleague when things go wrong or results are not up to expectations. This is the nature of football."
Di Matteo has insisted talk of dressing-room unrest is far from true, suggesting conflict takes place at all clubs. He said: "I have never known a dressing room or a group of players which is easy for a manager to control.
"Of course there are strong personalities that occasionally collide with each other during the course of a season. But even in the media, do you never have problems with your colleagues or your editors?
"This is a normal work environment at a football club where there is an obligation to win and to always give the best of yourself as an individual and a group. Here at Chelsea we only have top-level footballers and great professional players.
"It is obvious that it is sometimes a challenge to keep so many top players in the same side happy. Everybody wants to play every game and everyone always wants to win but there is no problem with this dressing room."

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