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Di Matteo takes over as Schalke boss

07 October 2014, 14:46

Berlin - German club Schalke 04 on Tuesday appointed former Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo as coach to replace the sacked Jens Keller.

Di Matteo, who will be presented to the media on Wednesday, has signed a contract through to June 30, 2017 at the Veltins Arena.

Keller's fate was sealed by a 2-1 defeat to Hoffenheim on Saturday, which left the Gelsenkirchen club 11th in the Bundesliga with just eight points from seven games.

Schalke are also third in their Champions League group after two draws in their first two matches, including a 1-1 stalemate with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

That impressive result, as well as a 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund in the recent Ruhr derby, could not save Keller from the axe.

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"The team's performances in recent weeks have varied greatly. Even the positive tendencies such as seven points collected from the recent busy league schedule and the icing on the cake that was the derby win haven't shown a lasting effect," said sporting director Horst Heldt in a statement on the club website.

"We're lacking the consistency needed in order to achieve our goals. That's why we have decided to take this step.

"By changing the manager, we want to create new momentum," added Heldt. "We're utterly convinced that Roberto di Matteo will stabilise the team and achieve our goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League."

Di Matteo, 44, starred as a player for Italy and Chelsea and as caretaker manager led the London club to their first Champions League title in 2012.

He has also managed Premier League club West Bromwich Albion.

Keller had taken over at Schalke from Dutchman Huub Stevens in December 2012.

He is the second coach to lose his job in the Bundesliga already this season, after Hamburg parted company with Mirko Slomka.



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