'This is the ideal scenario': Petr Cech says Chelsea had to sack Roberto Di Matteo
Monday 26 November 2012
Petr Cech has endorsed Roman Abramovich's decision to replace Roberto Di Matteo with Rafael Benitez, saying that Chelsea were lost for answers and needed to make the change to turn their season around.
Speaking at the end of a traumatic week, in which Benitez was brought in and then given a remarkably hostile reception in his first game, Cech said that a new manager was the only way to arrest a bad run of results at home and in Europe.
"When you change manager you need this impulse to get out of the situation, which was not comfortable," Cech said. "This is the ideal scenario, to get a run of results where you keep getting three points and suddenly the season looks different. That's why the change arrives. You just need to change the situation. We were in it for some time and couldn't seem to find a way out."
Goalkeeper and stand-in captain Cech also acknowledged, though, that it was not just Di Matteo's fault, and the players must get the results to transform the mood.
"When you come to a situation where you change your manager it's because the situation is bad, and that everybody is to blame," Cech admitted. "Everybody is responsible for the results. As players, we feel the responsibility because we are responsible for the manager leaving. We want to put things right. We want to do the right things for the new manager."
Di Matteo was sacked after taking two points from his last four league games, and being on the brink of Champions League elimination after losing 3-0 at Juventus. "We know, it's clear," Cech said. "Everybody knows that the last few results were not good. We all know we have to play better."
Benitez was made to feel especially unwelcome by the majority of Chelsea fans on Sunday, who booed him, sang critical songs and waved 'Rafa Out' banners. Chelsea owner Abramovich went down to speak to Benitez immediately after the game. Cech insisted that the players had no option but to work hard for the new regime.
"You are here to play, to do what the club and the manager want you to do," Cech said. "If you don't like it, you can leave. I'm here to play, I want to play, so I do everything I can straight away to make sure the manager has no option but to pick me and put me in the team. It's the way I work, and it works for everybody because if you stay sad and not doing the right things you will end up on the bench even more disappointed."
Benitez's first game was a 0-0 draw with Manchester City which was overshadowed by the fans' reaction to the new interim manager. But Cech feels it was too early to expect transformation from Di Matteo's side.
"There was not really time to change much," Cech said. "We changed basic stuff to know how he wants us to play. He tried to pick everybody up to be mentally ready and positive. We worked on our shape. We went straight to work. We know there's a lot of work to be done. Hopefully it will be working for us now."
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