By Amir Mir
Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has admitted that must get the club promoted within the next two years.
The Italian joined the Midlands club this summer on a 24-month deal after being set the target of taking the club back to the top flight following relegation.
“I’ve signed a two-year contract and I think it’s a two-year plan to get us back into the Premier League,” Di Matteo told the Birmingham Mail.
“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.”
Fans’ expectation will naturally be high, but with a new set-up at the club, including a new owner in the face of Tony Xia it is understandable that the 46-year-old will be under increasing pressure.
But, at this moment in time Di Matteo is focusing on wiping out the disasters of last season which saw the club pick up only three Premier League wins.
“The hardest thing to overcome so far is the disappointment of last season,” said Di Matteo. “That has been in the players’ minds. We’ve been trying to work on it and forget about it and move on. It’s been a hard part.”
Di Matteo has signed goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, midfielder Aaron Tshibola, and experienced defender Tommy Elphick this summer, with Fulham striker Ross McCormack set to make an imminent move to Villa Park after a £12 million bid was accepted.
The former Champions League winning boss revealed he is trying to build an ambitious squad who have the right attitude for a gruelling Championship season.
“We want more players like those three,” said Di Matteo. “They have settled in very well. We always try to assess the person first and then his professional qualities.”
“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.
“The group is formed of many players so when you have the majority that have the right attributes then the minority will not be able to overcome this. It’s important.”
Villa kick-off their campaign against Sheffield Wednesday this Sunday afternoon.
In other Aston Villa team news, Joe Bennett gives his views on his former club and the supporters.