EDDIE NEWTON WANTS TO STAY
Eddie Newton has admitted it would be impossible to turn down an offer to remain on the Chelsea coaching staff after the end of the season.
Caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo, who has transformed the Blues' fortunes in spectacular fashion following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking, has steadfastly refused to say whether he wants the manager's job full-time.
But fellow former player Newton, who Di Matteo drafted into his backroom team, revealed he would jump at the chance to extend his stay.
He said: "I don't think I could turn it down - but I have to get there first. Let's get to the end of the season and then we'll see from there.
"At the end of the day, I'm enjoying it for what it is. I know what my remit is and it's as simple as that."
The clamour for Di Matteo and Newton to remain at the helm is growing by the day, with Chelsea's 1997 FA Cup-winning heroes having last night helped pen another chapter in the club's folklore.
The historic Champions League win over Napoli made it three wins from three matches, raising hopes of a fairytale end to what was turning into a horror story of a season.
Villas-Boas' demise was reportedly partly the result of a dressing-room mutiny.
"I know they get a bad rap every so often but they're a great bunch of lads," said Newton, who nevertheless admitted that confidence had been low.
"They're human beings. They're expected to be at the highest level and it hasn't been that way. So, obviously, they're going to be a little bit low.
"It hadn't been nice just before I stepped in, obviously because of what happened. There is a certain amount of picking up.
"Any coach will have to do that around the country at certain points during the season. Chelsea's in the limelight, so you see it a little bit more."
Picking them up has proved remarkably simple.
"Listen, it's a magnificent squad and, at the end of the day, we're just talking to the players and getting behind them and just reminding them that they're top players," he said.
"'You're top players, go out there and prove it and show a bit of pride for the club that you're playing for. Everyone loves the club, everyone loves being here, and you have to show it'.
"That's exactly what we've seen."
You might also expect Newton to be a confidant for Di Matteo, who he worked with previously at MK Dons and West Brom.
But he revealed his former team-mate, who last week claimed to have "no friends", never told him anything "until the last minute".
Asked what it was about Di Matteo that kept him coming back for more, Newton added: "We've worked together, we've played together, we've had a long time together in very stressful situations.
"At the end of the day, we work well, so that's it really.
"Simple as that, we work well."
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