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Premier League

Joachim Low refuses to comment on Chelsea speculation


Germany coach Joachim Low has refused to comment on speculation linking him with the vacancy at Chelsea.

A report in a Swiss newspaper claimed Low had met with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich yesterday in a Geneva hotel to discuss the possibility of the 52-year-old replacing Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked as manager on Sunday.

The west London club denied any such meeting took place and Low, who is in Geneva fulfilling a commercial obligation with German Football Federation sponsors Mercedes-Benz, today declined to discuss the issue.

He said in remarks reported by German tabloid Bild: "I have a contract as national team coach until 2014.

"The European Championships start in three months and everyone knows my goal.

"I see no reason for me to comment on media speculation."

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp and his Swansea counterpart Brendan Rodgers have also today confirmed they would not be interested in succeeding Villas-Boas.

The Portuguese has been replaced by Roberto Di Matteo until the end of the season while the club seek out a full-time replacement.

Di Matteo yesterday named Eddie Newton as part of his short-term coaching set-up and the former Chelsea midfielder was delighted to have been handed the opportunity.

"I have come back and hopefully I can help Chelsea get to the position where we all believe they should be," he told Chelsea TV.

"Robbie told me just to help him as I have done before in previous years and we have a good working relationship and we are hoping that we can use that here.

"We want the same thing but we go different ways about it and that is how it works very well.

"It has been quite emotional coming back to Chelsea, as everyone knows I love the club, and I am looking forward to getting my teeth into everything."

Defender Branislav Ivanovic has meanwhile issued a rallying call to his Chelsea team-mates as they look to overcome Birmingham tonight.

Di Matteo's first game at the helm comes in the FA Cup fifth-round replay at St Andrew's and Ivanovic has called for a show of strength.

"It's a difficult situation, a difficult moment for everybody, and now we have to be strong and obviously try to win the games to change our situation," he told the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com.

"There is not a lot more to say at the moment, it is only hard work on the pitch that can help us to win the games.

"To win is the only thing for the Birmingham game.

"This is all we can speak about, there are no excuses, nothing we can say, the only thing we can do is win this game, it will be difficult because we missed the chance at home and they are a tough opponent away, in the FA Cup, a difficult competition, but we need to be ready and win the game.

"We need a big improvement but it's not time to speak about that, just to do a professional and proper job."

He added: "Always after some changes the atmosphere is different and unusual, but in a couple of days it should be OK.

"It is difficult to be positive but we have to be strong, it is what our job asks of us and we have to be professional.

"This means winning the games, which we have not been doing."