Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo
Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has spoken exclusively to the Birmingham Mail, and discussed the target he was set when he was appointed Aston Villa manger in June.
The Villans suffered a horrendous 2015/16 Premier League campaign that eventually culminated in their relegation to the Championship and Di Matteo divulged the main objective set for him by the club's hierarchy.
“I’ve signed a two-year contract and it’s a two-year plan to get us back into the Premier League, " he said. "We all know it’s very difficult to get back there. The history and the past shows that. It’s a two-year plan but we all know the sooner the better.”
Roberto Di Matteo and owner Dr Tony Xia
Di Matteo has already made moves to strengthen his squad with the additions of Aaron Tshibola, Pierluigi Gollini and Tommy Elphick, but he has also had to endure the sale of key midfielder Idrissa Gueye to Everton.
The Italian discussed his desire to bring in more players with attributes similar to those already signed by the club, when speaking to the Birmingham Mail.
Roberto Di Matteo and Dr Tony Xia during a press conference
“We want more players like those three," he said. "They have settled in very well. You try to identify people who are ambitious and have the right attitude towards their profession.
"I think these are the kind of attributes we’re looking for. We need a few more. I’m not sure whether it’s one, two, three or four but we certainly need more to give us a bit more.”
The Midlands club suffered their first loss of pre-season against Middlesbrough at the weekend, after a run of five wins and a draw.
The Aston Villa fans will be hoping that their side can take some of that promising pre-season form into the weekend when they face Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday in their Championship opener.
Di Matteo claims Villa's target is to achieve promotion within two years