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Nov, 19, 2012

Di Matteo: Defence must improve

Roberto Di Matteo is threatening to become a present-day Chelsea tinker man by changing the emphasis of his misfiring side.

• Blog: West Brom's perfect storm

Di Matteo added a more attacking edge to his squad this season by recruiting the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Victor Moses.

The moves have received acclaim for making Chelsea easier on the eye but Saturday's 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion took their run without a victory to four Premier League games and underlined their defensive shortcomings, especially in the absence of injured skipper John Terry.

With a tough Champions League assignment away to Juventus on Tuesday night, Di Matteo spoke like a man ready to reign in some of the cavalier excesses of his side.

"As a team, we have to be better at defending," he said. "It's not an individual thing. We need to look at the defensive organisation of everyone on the pitch.

"The set-up of the team...we may have to sacrifice attacking options and go a bit more defensive."

This isn't the first time Chelsea have stumbled in November, but the manager believes basic concentration is at the root of the trouble.

"I don't think it's psychological," he said. "It's more a question of hard work to get out of it; focus for the whole game to get a win.

"For us, every game is massive and every defeat is a problem because we want to be competing all the time.

"The motivation will be very high, that's for sure. It's a challenging time when you don't win games and you need to give confidence to your players. That's going to be a tough job.

"It's three years in a row in November now where we haven't done well. I don't know why that is but I need to think about it for Tuesday and assess."

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