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Di Matteo wants realism at Dons

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Di Matteo called for realistic expectations in his first management role

New MK Dons boss Roberto Di Matteo has called for patience as he makes his first steps in management.

The former Chelsea and Italy star Di Matteo has succeeded Paul Ince on an initial one-year deal, drafting Eddie Newton in as his assistant.

At a news conference announcing his arrival, he said: "I'm very confident we will do a good job. We are very excited but we also must be realistic.

"It is our first year in League One and we will do our best with what we can."

The 38-year-old Matteo was forced to end his playing days with Chelsea in 2002 through injury after a career that saw him win 34 caps for his country.

He fills the void left by Ince, who replaced Mark Hughes at Blackburn last month after guiding the Dons to the League Two title last season.

Di Matteo, who has not managed before, beat off 40 applicants to get the job and said he is not worried about his lack of experience.

He is Italian so he will be very tactically minded

Eddie Newton on Di Matteo
"I've never really left football in a sense," said Di Matteo.

"The fire inside and the football stays in your blood.

"A good player doesn't necessarily make a good manager but I would like to be more successful as a manager.

"I think there's a good team here already, they had good success last year. League One is a step up and we hope we can build on the success and keep the momentum going.

"I was fascinated by the club. It's a young club and a very ambitious club. It is a great opportunity for me to start here.

"I'd like to help the chairman implement his vision and to take the club even higher."

The Italian says he is close to completing his Uefa 'A' Licence and will then go on to do his Pro Licence.

A number of Di Matteo's former Chelsea team-mates have made the move into management, with mixed results.

Hughes has found success with Wales and Blackburn, earning him the job at Manchester City, while Steve Clarke has been the assistant to Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant at Stamford Bridge.

Dennis Wise took Millwall to the FA Cup final and is now involved as an executive director at Newcastle and Didier Deschamps held the reins at Italian giants Juventus before standing down.

Di Matteo's fellow Italian Gianluca Vialli enjoyed success as player-coach and coach at Chelsea but then endured a difficult spell as Watford boss.

But MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman said he was confident Di Matteo would prove to be a good appointment.

"We are a very ambitious football club and Roberto is a very ambitious young man," he said. "We are both taking the risk in terms of working with each other.

"But I have learnt to not be scared of change. We have learnt a lot over the last few years and we have a very strong backroom staff now.

606: DEBATE
MK4Donstone
"We are on an amazing journey and it has been another major summer for us. I'm very proud for Paul Ince to have gone to Blackburn but in his place I'm delighted to announce Roberto."

Matteo has brought in his former Chelsea team-mate Newton as his right-hand man, while former British sprinter Ade Mafe also joins the staff as fitness coach.

Newton, who also scored in Chelsea's FA Cup win in 1997 when Di Matteo made history with the fastest ever Cup final goal, believes the new boss will adapt quickly to his new role.

"He's a thinking man, he is Italian so he will be very tactically minded," said Newton, who has been part of the academy staff at Chelsea.

"I'm very excited. I've not been away from football but excited to be working with the people I have worked with before."




see also
Di Matteo appointed MK Dons boss
02 Jul 08 |  Milton Keynes
Blackburn appoint Ince as manager
22 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
Four more join exodus at MK Dons
26 Jun 08 |  Milton Keynes
Dons begin with trip to Leicester
16 Jun 08 |  League One
Di Matteo forced to quit
19 Feb 02 |  Chelsea


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