Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed that Ashley Cole has been ruled out of the clash with Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The left back sat out of training on Monday and was expected to be a doubt for the clash after suffering a problem with his hamstring. Di Matteo has now confirmed that the 31-year-old will miss the tie but insisted that he has every faith in Ryan Bertrand's ability to deputize in Cole's place.
"Ashley Cole won't be available tomorrow, he has a problem with his hamstring, but shouldn't be out for long," he told reporters. "Ryan Bertrand has always performed well for us when he's played and I have full confidence he will play a great game."
The Italian went on to warn his players that every one of them must be at their best if the Blues are to succeed in beating the Ukrainian champions, who topped Cheslea in their last meeting. Di Matteo's suggested that his side's winning mentality could aid their task.
"We need to be at our best, every player has to perform to the best of their ability. The early goal in Donetsk helped them," Di Matteo said. "The team has a winning mentality and experience of performing in big games like this, which helps. We have very good players."
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation
- Di Matteo
- Ashley Cole
- Ryan Bertrand