Di Matteo: Everyone makes mistakes
Roberto Di Matteo insisted everyone deserved a second chance after John Terry was found guilty of using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand.
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Chelsea boss Di Matteo refused to comment specifically on the outcome of Terry's Football Association hearing when giving his reaction to it on Friday afternoon.
26. John Terry
But asked if he believed in second chances, he said: "Yes, I do. I'm sure you've made some mistakes in your life. Me too."
Some might argue Terry has had plenty of second chances in a career that has been defined by his defiance in the face of adversity.
Pressed on why his captain repeatedly found himself at the centre of a storm, Di Matteo invoked the slogan famously printed on a T-shirt worn by another controversial player.
"That's a good question to ask Mario Balotelli - 'Why always me?"' he joked.
"That's a question you'd have to ask John."
Terry was on Friday still awaiting the full written judgment of the independent FA panel, which his lawyers will pore over before deciding whether to appeal a verdict that saw him banned for four matches and fined £220,000.
The 31-year-old has always protested his innocence and was found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence in a criminal trial in July.
Di Matteo insisted the saga over Terry's altercation with QPR defender Ferdinand almost a year ago had not unsettled a team that went on to win the Champions League and FA Cup.
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He said: "Not at all. I don't think it's unsettled the team. We had a very successful time during the whole process."
The Italian also backed his captain to handle the fallout, although the stigma may live with him for the rest of his life if he fails to clear his name completely.
Asked whether Terry might look to go abroad, Di Matteo said: "That's a good question for him to answer. I don't know if that's in his plan. It's a shame that not more English players go abroad."
Chelsea refused to be drawn on what their policy would be to a player found guilty of using racist language.
They are renowned for their "zero-tolerance" approach to racism among their own fans and Di Matteo confirmed every player was given a code of conduct which would almost certainly include rules on such matters.
Of the perception of Chelsea by the outside world, he added: "We have to set good standards. I try to set good standards.
"But, at the end of the day, we won't be liked by our opposition's fans.
"That's generally speaking for everybody.
"So we cannot waste too much energy worrying about what they're thinking."