Italian prepared for fire fighting
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is ready to combat Sir Alex Ferguson's mind games with his own brand of covert psychology.
Di Matteo has already played down the significance of the public jousting with rival bosses for which Ferguson has become notorious during his near 26-years at Manchester United.
The Italian certainly respects the United manager, but he doesn't live in fear at the prospect of lining up opposite him in the Blues dugout for the first time since taking the job at Stamford Bridge.
He has also revealed that he would resort to fighting fire with fire if necessary as he prepared to pit his wits against the man he admitted was still the best in the business ahead of Sunday's mouthwatering Premier League clash between the sides.
"If I need to, I will, but there is no need and sometimes it doesn't have to be publicly," said Di Matteo, who Blues winger Juan Mata revealed this week had proven a master of getting inside his own players' heads.
Ferguson has a reputation for getting inside the head of United's title rivals but Di Matteo was quick to point out the effect the Scot's mind games had on champions Manchester City.
"They didn't work last season, I think," he added. "You make it out a little bit more than it is at the end of the day. As a manager, you have to prepare your team as good as you can and then the players have to go on the pitch and perform."