'He's got character' - Schalke star praises former Chelsea boss

Benedikt Howedes has praised Roberto Di Matteo, with the Chelsea legend in charge of Schalke.

Di Matteo was the first man to lead Chelsea to the Champions League trophy, having won it in exceptional circumstances in 2012.

He remained at Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis into the start of the following season, but he lasted just eight months in the job, being removed from his position in November 2012.

An almost two-year absence from management was ended earlier this month, with Di Matteo opting to take the vacant head coach role at German side Schalke, with the club removing Jens Keller following a dreadful start to the season.

The Bundesliga side had already been eliminated from the DFB-Pokal, and were sitting 11th in the league table upon his arrival, and due to the ongoing international break, he has yet to take charge of the team in a competitive fixture.

However, he has been taking a number of training sessions, and one man who has been impressed with the Italian coach is Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes.

Having been out of action for a number of weeks, the World Cup winner has not been involved on the international scene, and he has been taking part in Di Matteo’s sessions - telling the official Bundelsiga website that he is a man “with a clear plan in mind”.

The 26-year-old defender said: “[As captain] I’m the extended arm of the coaching staff.

“So of course Roberto Di Matteo sought me and the other senior players out so that we can help convey his ideas to the team.

“[He is] a calm kind of person who gives clear instructions, has clear ideas and a clear style of play. With time he’ll pass that on to us. He’s got a lot of character.”

Howedes has also been impressed with Di Matteo’s attention to detail and precision on the training ground, saying: “He works very precisely.

“Whenever I arrive at the training ground everything’s already prepared for the next session.

“He has a clear plan in mind and he tells us what we’re going to focus on before the start of each session.

“During training we work very intensively and on various things. There are also clear instructions so that everyone knows what’s what.”

Howedes looks set to be fit to take part in Di Matteo’s first game in charge, with Schalke hosting Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

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