West Brom fires manager Di Matteo

BY foxsports • February 6, 2011

West Bromwich Albion fired manager Roberto Di Matteo on Sunday as the team battles against relegation from the Premier League.

A 3-0 loss to Manchester City on Saturday was West Brom's 13th loss in 18 games in all competitions, leaving the team only two points above the drop zone.

The 40-year-old Di Matteo had been in charge for less than 20 months before West Brom announced Sunday that he was being "relieved ... of his duties and placed ... on gardening leave."

"This has been a tough decision but we, as a board, believe it is the right one to give the club the best possible chance of remaining in the Premier League," West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace said in a statement. "Our poor sequence of results stretches back more than three months and there has been little sign of it coming to an end.

"If this run continues much longer, achieving our goal of retaining our Premier League status will become increasingly difficult. That is why we felt compelled to act now."

Di Matteo, a former Italy midfielder who was hired by West Brom in June 2009, secured the team's instant return to the Premier League last May.

After losing two of its first nine league games, West Brom was a contender for Europa League qualification. But the team has won only three times since then and taken one point from its past three games.

"This club's track record proves we do not take such decisions lightly, with Roberto being only our fourth manager or head coach in almost 11 years," Pearce said. "We are in a results-driven industry and felt we had no choice but to act now."

Assistant coach Michael Appleton will take over on an interim basis.

Di Matteo retired from playing due to injury in 2002 after struggling to recover from a triple leg fracture two years earlier.

The former Chelsea player impressed in his first managerial job at MK Dons, guiding the team to the 2009 League One playoffs in his only season in charge before moving to West Brom.

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