Roberto Di Matteo reports a good week of work since the squad returned from America, and is hoping his side can turn that into a positive performance at Brighton on Saturday.
We returned from our tour of America on Sunday, with the players given Monday off to rest before training at Cobham on Tuesday, with a double session to follow on Wednesday.
‘I think this week has been a good week of training and settling down really, coming back to Cobham and getting rid of the jet lag,’ Di Matteo said. ‘It’s been a week of hard work. It takes a few days for everybody to get over it, we all struggled at first but we have recovered well.’
Looking back on a fortnight in America, the manager cannot fault our hosts with their wonderful facilities, but felt things could have been better on the pitch after one win, a draw and two defeats.
‘The training facilities in America were very good, excellent,’ he commented. ‘We moved around a lot though, especially in the second week, and integration of players coming back on different dates and trying to match them up with players who had a different fitness level, then the games, was a big challenge for everybody, the players and the staff, but we are very pleased we came back without any injuries.
‘Results were a bit up and down and we were a little disappointed with results, but we were pleased with what we did and we are looking forward to being ready on the first day.’
The final public outing before the Community Shield takes place on Saturday afternoon at Brighton, live on Chelsea TV, and Di Matteo is clear in his aims for the day as his players seek to seize the opportunity to impress.
‘Every day in training is an opportunity, the friendlies are opportunities, and on Saturday I am looking forward to a good competitive game for us,’ he explained, ‘and also to test a couple of things, and get some more players with 90 minutes in their legs so that we can get the majority of our players with that amount under their belt. That means there won’t be as many substitutions as we have seen in the States.’
It hints at a strong side to be fielded on the south coast, and you can see the entire match live and exclusive on Chelsea TV from 2.30pm.