Roberto Di Matteo is awaiting his first game in charge of Schalke after taking over the managerial reigns last week, but the former Chelsea manager already looks to have made a significant impact.
Officially unveiled as Jens Keller’s replacement last Wednesday, the Italian is tasked with turning around the fortunes of a side which sits 11th in the Bundesliga with eight points from their first seven matches.
After qualifying for the Champions League for three consecutive seasons, there will be immediate pressure on Di Matteo to deliver results at the Velits-Arena, but first-choice goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann insists the early signs are extremely encouraging.
‘He’s doing a really good job. We get a lot done in training so we don’t have the opportunity to think about what’s happened,’ he told the club’s official website.
‘Roberto Di Matteo is an authority figure who knows exactly what he wants. He communicates with the players and tells everyone what he expects from them.
‘He places a lot of focus on tactics and technique. He’s trying to implement this into our game.’
Di Matteo has been out of football for almost two years since being sacked by Chelsea in November 2012 but, after leading the Blues to Champions League glory just a few months earlier, the ex-West Bromwich Albion boss insists he is the right man to get Schalke back on track.
‘I know the demands are high here, but I've been in the football business for 24 years,’ he said upon his appointment.
‘I've worked in Switzerland, Italy, England and now in Germany and I think I've got the experience needed to deal with it.
‘The club wants to qualify for the Champions League automatically, and that is my aim too.’