Di Matteo ready to lay down the law at Aston Villa

New manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference

The former Chelsea boss is keen to avoid a repeat of last season's off-field shenanigans as he bids for a return to the Premier League.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo poses after the press conferenceNew manager Roberto Di Matteo poses after the press conference

Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo has warned that there will be "consequences" for any players that step out of line under his tenure, the Daily Star has reported.

The Italian, who was officially unveiled by the club on Wednesday, has identified discipline as a key area of improvement at Villa Park, having seen a series of off-field incidents compound a woeful season that ultimately saw Villa win just three games as they were relegated from the Premier League.

Aston Villa fans with Gabby Agbonlahor masksGabby Agbonlahor was just one player to upset Villa fans

Gabby Agbonlahor and Jack Grealish were both suspended after being caught partying during the miserable campaign, much to the anger of the club's fans.

But new boss Di Matteo is adamant that such behaviour will not be accepted on his watch, warning his players that he is not afraid to crack the whip in order to keep everyone in line.

Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott looks dejectedAston Villa's Joleon Lescott looks dejected

According to the Daily Star, he said: “At the end of the day there are rules people have to obey.

“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.

(L - R) New chief executive Keith Wyness, new manager Roberto Di Matteo and new owner Dr Tony Xia during the press conference(L - R) New chief executive Keith Wyness, new manager Roberto Di Matteo and new owner Dr Tony Xia during the press conference

“Can the players repair their relationship with fans? Well, if there is a willingness from each side there can be a future.

Villa fans are likely to be encouraged by the Champions League winner's comments, but he insists that establishing a strong dressing room is just one part of his aims for the coming season.

“I want to be pushing for promotion and get this club back into the Premier League. First, we have to get our minds around the fact that we are in the Championship and that we will be a big scalp.”

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