Last Updated: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 09:53
Roberto Di Matteo insists the Chelsea players are united after they booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
The Italian has taken charge until the end of the season following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas and he got off to the perfect start as they defeated Birmingham 2-0 at St Andrews.
Reports have suggested that all is not well in the dressing room and Di Matteo is as unpopular as the outgoing Villas-Boas but the former Blues player says everyone is united as they go in search of FA Cup glory and a top four finish.
A trip to St Andrews was always going to be tough after a difficult few days but Di Matteo was delighted with the character shown by his players.
"We faced a difficult task today given the events of the last couple of days and it was important for us to get through to the next round. We had to do a job today," he said after the game.
Meanwhile, the Italian also defended his decision to leave Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien all on the bench.
"Was it a brave selection choice? It was nothing to do with bravery," he added. "They were all on board. They know the targets we have to achieve.
"They are big players for this club. We have a squad and we have to utilise the squad. We have to try and get the best out of these players. It was a question of freshening up the team a bit, giving it some energy and fresh legs for a game like this. We had to fight today."
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