Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic admits it will be “strange” to face Stoke on Saturday without Jose Mourinho present.
The Blues boss will serve a one-match stadium ban on Saturday after being punished by the FA for comments about the referee after his side’s home defeat to Southampton on October 3.
Mourinho appealed the sanctions, which included a £50,000 fine, but the FA announced on Thursday that the verdict had been upheld, meaning the Britannia Stadium is off limits for the Portuguese coach.
Matic admits it will be a unique experience to go into a game without their manager, but the Serbian has backed Mourinho’s staff to step up in the absence of the Blues’ leader.
He said: “Of course it is more easy when the coach is on the bench and especially at half-time, when he can say something. But we also have other great coaches, and they will be prepared for everything, and we have to be ready for that.
“It’s going to be strange, of course. I think that I’m here almost two years and we have not played without a coach yet, so it is going to be strange, but this is football and we will be ready.
“Sometimes when the game stops and there is a foul, he shows with the hands and you know what you have to do. You can’t really hear him because there are 40,000 people here, and it’s difficult. Sometimes you hear him, and especially if you play on his side of the pitch.”
Matic says Chelsea need no added motivation to end their recent slump which has left them 15th place in the Premier League table.
He added: “We want to win, and of course we want to win also for the coach, for our club, and we know that in the last couple of weeks, when everyone has been saying we are bad, we know that we have quality.
“We know that it is not easy to recover from that, because when you play for Chelsea you always have more responsibility than other clubs, because Chelsea always wants to win. Our supporters are used to winning trophies.”