Di Matteo hungrier than ever

The Blues finally ended their agonising wait for UEFA Champions League glory in May, winning the trophy that had been their Holy Grail ever since Roman Abramovich bought the club nine years ago.

Having achieved their ultimate aim, the biggest danger for Di Matteo and his squad may be motivating themselves to do it all over again.

But manager Di Matteo has insisted his players – who are also FA Cup holders – have an insatiable appetite for success ahead of a season in which they will compete for an unprecedented seven trophies.

The first of those is up for grabs in Sunday’s traditional curtain-raiser to the season, the Community Shield, which is being played this year at Villa Park.

“There’s plenty of trophies to win this season,” Di Matteo said ahead of the clash against Premier League champions Manchester City.

“We have a very driven team of players and they are never satisfied with what they’ve done in the past.

Big gap

“It’s a fresh start for us. It won’t be a problem from that point of view.

“There are a couple of trophies our players have never won, and challenging for the Premier League, too.

“We finished sixth last season and I don’t think anybody is happy with that. We certainly have to do better.”

Indeed, avoiding a repeat of their lowest league finish of the Abramovich era has to be a priority for Chelsea, who were a distant 25 points behind City and Manchester United in the final standings.

“There was a big gap last season, and that is one of our challenges this season, to bridge that gap,” Di Matteo said.

“Twenty-five points are a lot of points.

“It’ll be a tough season ahead but we’ll try and compete.”

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