Since the 41-year-old took over from former manager Andre Villas-Boas, the Spaniard has looked a more confident player, setting up the winner in the Blues’ 1-0 Champions League win over Benfica on Tuesday, and the overall contribution of the 28-year-old has pleased the Italian.
“We’re just happy that Fernando’s performing well for us. He’s a very good player“
While the Spain international has only scored six times in 37 appearances this season, Di Matteo told the press: “We’re just happy that Fernando’s performing well for us. He’s a very good player and a great, great team player.
“I’ve been trying to speak to all my players and give them the confidence to play.
“Fernando seems to have been performing well. He’s a happy player at the moment, but all players need particular attention.”
Chelsea now have one foot in the Champions League semi-finals and have an FA Cup semi-final clash with Tottenham at Wembley to look forward to but their league form has not been as strong.
The Stamford Bridge club are now five points off the Champions League places and Di Matteo understands the importance of winning games and using their current momentum to achieve their aim.
“We need to win points in the Premier League. We have played Stoke, [Manchester] City and Spurs,” he added.
“It’s difficult against Stoke. They drew at White Hart Lane and at Manchester City, so we know how strong they are.
“We’re in good form and shape, though. The spirit’s good and we’ll try to take that into the next game.
“When you win, the confidence flows into the players and team. We’ll try and take that into the next game.”