It was an afternoon to forget on the south-coast as the Blues were beaten 3-1 by Gustavo Poyet’s Brighton & Hove Albion, and manager Roberto Di Matteo was clearly frustrated after a disappointing display.
Frank Lampard had given us a 35th minute lead following some good work by Ramires and Fernando Torres, but a lapse in concentration allowed the home side to level two minutes later through Vicente, before they took the lead a minute before the break courtesy of an Ashley Barnes strike.
‘I was expecting more from my team in terms of urgency and movement,’ said the Italian. ‘I was looking for a better performance than the one we gave today.
‘We were too stretched, never aggressive enough and didn’t get the ball back quickly enough when we lost it. With the ball, there wasn’t enough movement and there were a lot of things we didn’t do. We have to be a bit more focused and sharper.’
Having now suffered three successive pre-season defeats, Di Matteo will be looking for an improvement in performance when we take on Manchester City in the Community Shield at Villa Park next Sunday.
However, preparations for the new season haven’t been ideal, with those players involved at the Euros joining up at varying times, and the ones taking part at the Olympics still not available.
With new signings such as Eden Hazard understandably needing time to find their feet, the manager admitted it was far from an ideal scenario.
‘We haven’t had the whole team together yet,’ he said. ‘Some players have only been back nine days, some 16, some 21 and some are not back at all, but when they are back we can all work together.
‘Hazard played on the left, we want him to be incisive, he had good spells but we need to be patient, he’s a young man coming from a different league and it takes time to adapt.
‘I was looking to get some players 90 minutes so I didn’t want to make many changes, seven played the whole game and we left some players back at Cobham to train.’
One thing the manager is concerned about is the amount of goals we have shipped in pre-season, but while he expects that to be ironed out in the coming weeks, he warned supporters not to expect a significant change in our style of play ahead of the coming campaign.
‘A lot of the goals have been individual errors that will be cut out when we get into the rhythm of the league and the fitness is there,’ said Di Matteo.
‘There aren’t going to be radical changes, but with the integration of new players inevitably we will change a bit. The way we want to play is to win many games and score goals.’