Di Matteo joy as Chelsea silence critics
Roberto Di Matteo deflected questions about his future after Chelsea sealed their fourth FA Cup in six seasons with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Wembley.
Strikes from Didier Drogba and Ramires sealed a deserved triumph for Chelsea as Liverpool's hopes of a fightback after Andy Carroll's second-half effort ended in disappointment.
It was a victory which marked a number of milestones for Chelsea, with captain John Terry becoming the first player in history to skipper one club to four FA Cup wins.
Defender Ashley Cole meanwhile pocketed a record seventh FA Cup winners medal while Drogba's second-half strike made the Ivorian the first player to score in four different finals.
Di Matteo was also celebrating after joining the elite band of individuals who have won the FA Cup both as a player and manager.
"I dont think many people have that opportunity," Di Matteo said. "I'm fortunate enough to have been able to play for this club and win the trophy, and now I've been able to lead the team here and win the trophy as a coach.
"It is special because it doesn't happen too often."
However the Italian, who has transformed Chelsea's season since taking over on an interim basis from Andre Villas-Boas in March, refused to entertain questions about whether he now expected to be permanently appointed.
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"It's totally irrelevant just as it was irrelevant seven weeks ago," Di Matteo said at a press conference.
"I'm very pleased with my position until the end of the season and at the time the boss will make his decision which will be the best for the club and we will respect it.
"I'm very relaxed about it. And the players will be fine whoever is going to be here next season. It's not an issue."
Di Matteo meanwhile heaped praise on his Chelsea side, who have the opportunity to crown their season with victory in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on May 19.
"I'm very happy for the players," Di Matteo said. "We've had a difficult season and a lot of criticism and I think today the players responded to all the adversity that we have faced this season."
Di Matteo also hailed the way his side had defended against a ferocious Liverpool onslaught in the final half an hour after Carroll's strike had given the Merseysiders hope of a remarkable comeback.
"When Carroll came on he caused us some problems with his physical presence in the box," Di Matteo said.
"They started to cross more balls into the box. And obviously when they got one goal back it was always going to be a bit nervy until the end.
"We focus on the goalscorers but our defence today again was magnificent to keep Carroll at bay when he came on and also Suarez. Our overall team performance was excellent."
The Chelsea manager also singled out Petr Cech for praise after the goalkeeper batted away what would have been an equaliser from Carroll eight minutes from time.
Carroll had wheeled away in celebration but referee Phil Dowd and his linesman ruled the ball had not crossed the line before Cech palmed it onto the underside of the crossbar allowing Chelsea to clear.
"From where I was standing I couldn't see if it had gone over the line but I looked at the linesman and he didn't flag for the goal," Di Matteo said. "But we've got a great keeper and he made a fantastic save today."
Di Matteo also said goalscorer Drogba, who is out of contract at Chelsea at the end of this season, could continue to perform at the highest level.
"He's not 65. Absolutely he can," he said.