Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo
During a pre-match press conference, Roberto Di Matteo discussed his excitement ahead of this weekend's friendly fixture against Premier League side Middlesbrough, as reported by the club's official website.
The Italian was appointed manager at Villa Park last month, and his his arrival has coincided with a renewed sense off optimism emanating from the club's fanbase.
Di Matteo is relishing tomorrow's fixture against Middlesbrough
Speaking at his press conference, Di Matteo highlighted the challenge his side will face against Boro tomorrow, as reported by the club's official Twitter page:
Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 29, 2016
The Villa boss seems to be implying that the game against Boro will provide him with an idea as to who and who isn't ready for the challenges they will face in the season ahead.
The Midlands outfit endured a disastrous campaign last season that eventually culminated in their relegation to the Championship, while Middlesbrough experienced the opposite fate, securing their promotion to the Premier League with a second place finish last term.
Aitor Karanka has done a wonderful job in his time at Middlesbrough
Di Matteo will be hoping that his side can emulate the efforts of Aitor Karanka's men in the Championship, and tomorrow's game will give him a better idea of what levels his side will need to reach in order to achieve that.
Roberto Di Matteo's presence seems to have reinvigorated Aston Villa