Wednesday 28 September 2016

Roberto Di Matteo issues warning to new Aston Villa players

Published 16/06/2016 | 22:36

Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has become the club's fourth permanent boss since February 2015
Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has become the club's fourth permanent boss since February 2015

New Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo has warned the club's bad boys they must stay in line.

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The Italian is ready to tackle the indiscipline which blighted Villa's awful campaign last season.

Villa were relegated from the Premier League with just three wins as a series of off-field incidents compounded their woes.

Gabby Agbonlahor was suspended by the club after being pictured partying in London after their relegation while Jack Grealish was banished from the first team for clubbing in Manchester following a 4-0 defeat to Everton in November.

Brad Guzan and Joleon Lescott also angered fans for playing a game involving chewing gum while substitutes during Villa's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Sky Bet League Two side Wycombe.

Di Matteo, who was officially unveiled on Wednesday, said: "We are going to have our rules, our code of conduct and if someone steps outside there are certainly going to be consequences.

"I will have discussions with all the players, not just one or two. That's the way I manage. At the end of the day there are rules people have to obey.

"I have had very difficult dressing rooms in the past and have always been able to sort them out and make them work together.

"If you have children, you probably know that every child you have to treat differently. It is the same, you have 25 individuals and everyone responds differently."

Lescott, Micah Richards and Leandro Bacuna were all jeered by their own fans during a poisonous end to the season but Di Matteo believes they can repair that broken relationship.

He added: "If there is a willingness from each side there can be a future but you are going back to the past again and it's something I don't really want to judge too much because I wasn't here."

Press Association

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