Sturridge has often been accused of being selfish in his pursuit of scoring goals, as seen in the 5-2 FA Cup win over Leicester City over the weekend.

Although the 22-year old is Chelsea's leading goalscorer this term, he has only netted once in 2012.

Di Matteo is unconcerned by the form slump, and is being patient with Sturridge's development.

"He's a fantastic player with some incredible ability and he will be very important for us," Di Matteo told The Mirror.

"There are not many players with that ability, and we sometimes forget he's a very young player, and young man, who is really in his first full season here.

"Daniel is still developing. Just look at his age and the number of games he has played. He needs to become a better player, but he has some incredible talent. He can make the team better and help us win more games.

"I wouldn't think it's difficult to play for the team. But every player has to put individual quality for the team for benefit of team. That way, the team becomes stronger."

Chelsea captain John Terry is expected to miss his side's Premier League encounter with Manchester City on Wednesday, but is likely to be fit to face London rivals Tottenham at the weekend.

After Didier Drogba produced a superb performance against Napoli in the Champions League last week and Fernando Torres netted twice against Leicester, Di Matteo now has a selection headache for his side's Premier League trip to Eastlands.

But the Italian was coy when quizzed on team selection for his side's upcoming matches.

"I'm not going to tell you who is playing," Di Matteo said.

"We have a fantastic squad and it hurts to leave players out of that calibre, but I can only fill 11 positions and I will pick the team that can beat Manchester City.

"There is pressure on City and (manager) Roberto Mancini, although he is used to that pressure from his time at Inter - he looks fine to me. But we hope we can exploit it.

"We're all under pressure - they need points, we need points, other teams need points to avoid relegation. Every team has targets and are under pressure to achieve them."