Roberto Di Matteo admits surprise at West Brom axe

Italian manager says he is 'surprised and disappointed' after being sacked by West Brom on Sunday

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
roberto di matteo
(Photo: Atilathehun)

roberto di matteo

Roberto Di Matteo admits he did not expect to be sacked by West Brom and is disappointed he won’t have the chance to lead the club to Premier League survival.

The Baggies, who are currently 17th in the table, relieved the former Chelsea striker of his duties on Sunday in the wake of the club’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday citing West Brom’s poor run of 13 defeats in 18 games.

“I was extremely surprised and disappointed to be relieved of my duties today,” said Di Matteo in a League Managers Association statement.

“Winning promotion to the Barclays Premier League with West Brom last season was without doubt one of the highlights of my career and certainly my managerial career.

“I am disappointed that I don’t now have the chance to lead the team through this crucial period and keep them in the league.

“I wish the players well over the coming weeks and I thank them for the hard work they have put in and the great attitude they have shown.

The Italian manager added: “I would like to thank the staff at the club, it has been a pleasure to work with you, and of course I would like the thank the most loyal and fantastic fans at West Brom with whom I had a great relationship during my time at the club.”

LMA chief Richard Bevan is convinced Di Matteo, who guided West Brom to automatic promotion last season, would have been able to keep the Baggies in the top flight this term.

“Roberto represents yet another victim of the ‘hire and fire’ mentality that pervades in our game,” Bevan said.

“Anyone who knows Roberto well, will know he is an intelligent, committed and talented football man who has proved himself as both a player and a manager.

“Without a doubt he has the ability to turn around recent results and maintain West Brom’s position outside of the bottom three. It is a great shame that he is not being given that chance.”

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