Finding his groove

Despite his lack of goals, Torres has produced some impressive performances this season and much of the criticism he received was harsh. The former Atletico Madrid man is now hoping to play a key role in Chelsea's quest to win the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup and he is relishing being given more opportunities by di Matteo.

Fernando Torres thanked Roberto di Matteo for putting his faith in him after the Chelsea striker finally ended his goal drought last weekend.

The much-maligned Spain international has endured a miserable time since moving to Stamford Bridge from Liverpool in January 2011.

But after waiting 25 hours and 41 minutes for a goal, Torres scored twice in the Blues' 5-2 thrashing of Leicester in the FA Cup to cap a fine individual performance.

Despite his lack of goals, Torres has produced some impressive performances this season and much of the criticism he received was harsh. The former Atletico Madrid man is now hoping to play a key role in Chelsea's quest to win the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup and he is relishing being given more opportunities by di Matteo.

Speaking after the victory over Leicester, Torres said: “I needed those goals. I've been working so hard to get them. Maybe the job of a striker is to score goals and if you don't do it people think you're playing badly. But the support has been here and I feel the confidence of the manager now. We have some important games coming.”

Di Matteo can do no wrong since taking over as caretaker boss following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas and the Italian was thrilled to see Torres back on the scoresheet. “I think the whole team, the club and supporters are happy (for Torres),” said di Matteo, who has overseen an impressive upturn in results since taking over from Villas-Boas a fortnight ago. “He works so hard for the team, he is a great team player. You get rewarded when you work hard in life and I think we are all happy that he helped us win.”

And the Italian now believes that the GBP50 million man's fortunes could continue to improve. “Hopefully his confidence is going to be high,” he added. “I didn't mind when he wasn't scoring because as long as we win as a team that is what matters to me.”

Torres was the butt of many jokes during his goal drought but it would be no surprise if the World Cup and European Championship winner had the last laugh this season.

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