|ESPNsoccernet: UEFA Champions League|
Chelsea midfielder Ramires credits Roberto Di Matteo's motivational skills for salvaging the club's season following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas.
• Di Matteo shrugs off Chelsea job talk
Di Matteo was installed as interim boss after Villas-Boas was axed, and has won six of his eight matches in charge so far, including Champions League victories over Napoli and Benfica.
And ahead of the second leg against Benfica at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, when Chelsea will aim to protect a one-goal advantage, Ramires has hailed Di Matteo's impact.
"It's hard to say why it didn't work out for Andre but we have all taken strength from the change of coach," Ramires said. "When results aren't good, it's always down to the manager. But with Robbie in charge we have found more respect in ourselves.
"Robbie has brought in some new ideas and instilled great confidence in us. And we soon began to realise that we are still a great team with great players. We have built from our victory in Robbie's very first game in charge and we have gone from strength to strength since then."