• Premier League

Di Matteo to ring changes after defensive mess

ESPN staff
November 18, 2012
West Brom defeated Chelsea on Saturday © PA Photos

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has promised to ring the changes after his side were beaten by West Brom on Saturday.

Chelsea slipped four points behind league leaders Manchester City after their 2-1 defeat at The Hawthorns - a ground they also lost at last season. Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie combined to give the hosts the victory, as Eden Hazard's strike just after half-time was rendered inconsequential.

Di Matteo, who managed the Baggies for a spell, was disappointed by his side's performance - revealing that he will consider changes in both formation and personnel as he bids to rediscover the winning recipe that saw the Blues leap to the top of the table at the start of the campaign.

"This season we are playing a little bit different but we might have to go back [to a previous formation] to be able to win games, and make sure first and foremost we don't concede," Di Matteo said.

"Maybe it is the time where we might have to change a little bit in terms of our selection and the way we play."

Di Matteo gave West Brom credit for their performance, but could not help but be frustrated at some of the defending from his side.

"It is a ground we find difficult, last season when we lost here, and now this season again," the Italian added. "We know they are very good at home.

"But giving away goals like we did today makes if difficult to win the game. You have to score three goals to win then and our defending was very poor today.

"We didn't concede many chances but, the ones we did, we had to do better."

West Brom moved within a point of the Blues with the win, occupying the final Champions League qualification spot at this early stage of the season. But manager Steve Clarke was not prepared to think about the possibility of European qualification with so many matches still to play.

"Can we think of the Champions League? I don't look that far ahead, I look from game to game," Clarke noted. "It is a great time to be at the club and if the supporters want to dream a bit, they can. But within the camp, we will keep our feet on the ground."

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