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Di Matteo resigns as Schalke coach

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 May 2015

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Roberto Di Matteo has resigned as Schalke head coach after just seven months in the role.

The Italian was drafted in to replace Jens Keller after the Gelsenkirchen side took just eight points from their first seven league matches and were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal by Dynamo Dresden.

However, Di Matteo oversaw a poor run towards the end of the season that saw Schalke win just two of their last 10 Bundesliga matches.

That left Schalke in sixth and outside the UEFA Champions League places and, after discussing his future with club officials, Di Matteo has opted to step aside.

“[General manager] Horst Heldt and I have not only worked together for the last seven months, but we directed our attention to the plans for the coming season,” Di Matteo told the club’s official website.

“I indicated a plan for a possible successful future. Although the discussions with Horst Heldt were always constructive, it became clear that the club wants to focus on other priorities.

“It seems to be that a fresh start is best for everyone. Therefore I came to the conclusion to resign my position as head coach.”

At one stage of the campaign Schalke climbed as high as third in the table, while they also put up a valiant effort in a 5-4 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the last-16 of the Champions League.

However, their domestic season petered out in the last two months and they finished their campaign with a whimper in a 2-0 loss at Hamburg.

Di Matteo started his coaching career in England with MK Dons before joining West Brom in June 2009.

The 44-year-old then returned to former club Chelsea as assistant to Andre Villas-Boas, before taking over as caretaker in March 2012 after the Portuguese was dismissed.

Di Matteo etched himself in Chelsea folklore by leading the team to victory in the FA Cup, before guiding the Londoners to their first Champions League victory in a penalty shootout over Bayern Munich.

Those successes saw him appointed on a full-time basis, but he was sacked in November 2012.

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