Ex-Aston Villa striker Garry Thompson admits initially being underwhelmed by Roberto di Matteo

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The former Villa man was left feeling a little disappointed at first with reports of the Italian's appointment.

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Former Aston Villa striker Garry Thompson has told the BBC WM phone-in that he was initially underwhelmed by reports of the club turning to Roberto di Matteo after being linked with the likes of David Moyes, but that he can understand why the the Italian has been appointed.

Villa have been searching for a new permanent boss since the sacking of beleaguered Frenchman Remi Garde on 29 March, and candidates such as Moyes and ex-Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson were thought to be at the front of the queue.

However, Di Matteo quickly emerged as preferred choice for prospective new owner Tony Xia after the Chinese businessman's takeover was announced, and the club confirmed the appointment of the 46-year-old on Friday.

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Di Matteo, Villa's vanquisher as a player in the 2000 FA Cup final, has a range of experience on his CV, having been the man to lead Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2012 and also winning promotion from the Championship whilst at West Midlands neighbours West Bromwich Albion six years ago.

However, Thompson, who spent two years as a striker at Villa in the last 1980s, admitted to BBC WM that he was initially underwhelmed by the choice of Di Matteo in comparison to a more experienced boss such as Moyes.

He said: "Initially I was underwhelmed when you have been talking about the likes of David Moyes and then turn to Roberto.

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"But the more you think about it, he has experience in the Premier League and the Championship and he has a Champions League under his belt, which is the thing that probably entices the chairman.

"The job is quite simple - turn the thing around and get us back into the Premier League."

That will certainly be the main task at hand for Di Matteo, but he will also need to oversee an overhaul of the club's ailing squad this summer, with something resembling a total revamp needed at Villa Park after such a toxic campaign.

West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo

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