Cool Di Matteo takes to Dons task with relish
Friday 04 July 2008
Roberto Di Matteo has always come across as being as cool as Christmas so it was no surprise to hear him saying yesterday, on his first day in his new job, that he can handle the pressure of succeeding Paul Ince as manager of League One newcomers MK Dons. On the face of it, the Italian and the Milton Keynes club seem an unlikely match but Di Matteo believes it is the perfect role for someone who wants to learn his way in management from the bottom up.
"I missed being in the frontline very much but the fire never goes away," said Di Matteo. "This is a big challenge. The contract is for one year with another year option and you are under pressure as a manager but it is all about being successful.
"I understand I have no experience but I don't have a problem with that. As a manager you are going to be measured by your results. I am not concerned about the future. I am concerned about what we do this season, that's all.
"We will put up a fight and make it difficult for everybody that plays us. I have tried to take the best out of every manager I've played for. But you have to start and make your own way. I am the MK Dons manager and we are just looking at all the opportunities available to us.
"I think it is a young club and an ambitious one. It is a great opportunity to start here. I am very confident that we will do a good job."
The club won the League Two title and the Johnstone's Paint Trophy last season before Ince joined Blackburn Rovers, so Di Matteo has some act to follow in his first managerial post. The 38-year-old, who named former Chelsea player Eddie Newton as his assistant, is convinced he can build on Ince's achievement and will start on strengthening his squad in the next few days.
"I just want to get on working," he added. "We have been very busy over the last three days but we will not rush into any decisions. We are running a bit late but we are talking to all the people we know. It is a process that will take a bit of time. It is a new chapter. It is League One this year and I want to be more successful as a manager than I was as a player."
The club's chairman Pete Winkelman believes Di Matteo has the ambition and drive to work wonders for MK Dons. "We are a very ambitious football club and Roberto is a very ambitious young man," said Winkelman. "I think it is a really difficult process when you look at managers. They are the most important person in the football club. I am very confident about the appointment and really looking forward to what Roberto and his team will be doing with the side."
Latest in Sport
Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns triumphs after The Rock returns to set-up Wrestlemania showdown with Brock Lesnar
Brighton 2 Arsenal 3 player ratings: Did Tomas Rosicky's performance and goal make him man of the match at Amex Stadium?
Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal, Chelsea target Raheem Sterling, Manchester United want Benzema
Royal Rumble 2015: Watch The Rock return to the WWE to rescue Roman Reigns
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally