Back in March, just one month after I started working at Chelsea, supporters from the Fans’ Forum came to visit us at Cobham.
I can remember the supporters telling me then that although they knew we were trying hard to win the Premier League and the Champions League, we should not underestimate how much the fans wanted to win the FA Cup this year.
We talked about that and so far we have kept our promise by going to the FA Cup Final.
For Chelsea, for the team, it is very important to be there, and also for the fans.
We made the promise come true as much as we can and we hope we can make the next step to get the silverware as well.
A big club like Chelsea needs to win some titles almost every year and everyone knows how the situation has been this season. It was a very good start to the season, the middle it was a little sloppy, and then a rather good end – and it will be perfect to have won a cup.
Make no mistake, the FA Cup is a big title, not only recognised in England but also worldwide.
A cup final is special. It is different from other big league games or semi-finals and when I was a young kid, or after that a professional player, or even when I was beginning as a manager I always had one Saturday in May when I said, hey, this is my afternoon for watching the FA Cup on television.
The whole atmosphere around it is very impressive and the vision of the stadium made a big impact. Most of the finals were so emotional and so tense.
I have been hearing the players say how much they want to win the FA Cup so I will leave Chelsea with a medal, but I want them to win it for themselves.
We have some players who are at the start of their careers and some who have already a beautiful career, but if every now and then a trophy materialises, it is the cherry on the pie.
The preparations for the game have gone well. We had last week some small problems with some players but they recovered very well at the beginning of the week and I think the team is fully fit.
We have been scoring goals in the last few games and that is important but also important is remembering what has happened this year when Everton is our opponent.
They have shown twice already this season that they can match up with Chelsea so it will be tough. But when we have played tough opponents, it is obvious that the team always reacts to the challenge, even if there is a set-back. We hope we don’t have that experience at Wembley but this team is always fighting and that is nice to see.
We have a squad of players who have played many big games which could benefit us. Let’s hope so, let’s think so.
When you play lots of big games you do get used to it but also we must not underestimate Everton because they will rise to this occasion and they are experienced as well. Some of them have played big tournaments and they are in the Premier League where you gather a lot of experience. But yes, having played many big games, that might be an advantage for Chelsea.
I am told the fans have a special big flag for me at Wembley and if so, I will be very pleased because I didn’t expect that appreciation. Of course we did rather well in the Premier League from February on and we did well in the Champions League and also in FA Cup, but being here a short period and knowing that people know already what success is in this club, then being appreciated so much is a wonderful experience.
I would like to thank the fans for that, for the support they have given the team all season and for the big support I am sure they will provide on Saturday.
Chelsea Football Club