Roberto Di Matteo believes Chelsea is missing captain John Terry‘s defensive and organizational qualities and must improve in his absence.
Terry was ruled out of the Blues 2-1 defeat at West Brom on Saturday, and will miss a further three weeks of action, with a knee injury and the club’s manager has expressed his frustration at the way the team defended without the presence of the 31-year-old.
After a promising start to the season, the Stamford Bridge club has struggled of late, conceding 18 goals in its past eight games and picking up just two points out of a possible 12 in the past four Premier League fixtures, and Di Matteo warned his players that they must improve sooner rather than later.
"Clean sheets certainly give you a chance to win games and we certainly have to improve on that side," the Italian told reporters. "Defensively we just weren't good enough. Of course we miss John [Terry], he is an important player for us. He gives us a lot of confidence at the back and in general to the team.
"It's a shame that he is injured - but we will have to do without him until he comes back - and improve."
Chelsea has won plaudits for its stylish play this season, but Di Matteo hinted that he may have to sacrifice part of the flair to ensure more solidity at the back.
"It's trying to find the right balance for us, whereby we can still create chances to win games,” the 42-year-old added. "Maybe it's a time where we might have to change a bit in terms of our selections and the way we play but certainly we have to start with paying more attention defensively.
"Against West Brom, the first goal came from a cross and our defenders should have done better in dealing with that cross. We also had enough bodies in there to deal with the second goal as well."
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