London – Chelsea captain John Terry has called on Roman Abramovich to ensure interim boss Roberto Di Matteo and FA Cup final hero Didier Drogba remain at Stamford Bridge.
Terry led Chelsea to their fourth FA Cup triumph in six seasons as Liverpool were defeated 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday, but the England defender believes Di Matteo and Drogba deserve much of the credit for the Blues' recent revival.
Just two months ago, Chelsea's season looked in danger of imploding after Andre Villas-Boas's dismissal, yet now they are halfway to an FA Cup and Champions League double.
Di Matteo's calm, low-key approach has won over senior players such as Drogba and Frank Lampard, who felt snubbed by Villas-Boas. They have responded with some heroic performances.
Di Matteo however still does not know if he will be given the job on a permanent basis, as Blues owner Abramovich is reported to be considering offering Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho a return to the Bridge.
And while no one epitomises the Chelsea revival more than Drogba, his eighth goal in eight Wembley appearances came in what may prove his swansong at the famous stadium.
Drogba, out of contract at the end of the season, has yet to sign a new deal, but Terry has no doubts both he and Di Matteo must be kept on.
“Big players thrive on big occasions and Didier did that here,” Terry said.
“I hope he will stay. It would be such a shame if he went. He has been incredible for this football club.
“Throughout the world when people look at Chelsea they look at Didier and these kind of players.
“He loves the club. After the Champions League final hopefully something can be thrashed out and he stays.”
Beating Bayern Munich in that Champions League final in the German club's own Allianz Arena on May 19 would surely convince Abramovich to keep Di Matteo as well as the aging but still dynamic Drogba.
Terry, who will be suspended for the final after his red card in the semi-final against Barcelona, certainly thinks.
“We fought very hard in the FA Cup. The togetherness has been incredible and Robbie deserves a lot of credit for that.
“He has been incredible. It is a decision the board will make and hopefully with this win and we can go on and achieve great things at this football club and make it a very easy decision for the board.”
Missing the Champions League final will be painful for Terry, especially after his failed spot-kick cost Chelsea victory in the 2008 final against Manchester United, but he hopes to lift the trophy along with stand-in captain Lampard as a non-playing member of the squad.
Terry and Lampard raised the FA Cup together on Saturday and the defender said: “I hope we can do that. We did it when we won the double as well.
It is moments like that which live in the history of the football club and it is important Frank and myself are there lifting trophies.” – Sapa-AFP