Di Matteo welcomes old foe Roy

AFTER a couple of fiery clashes with Roy Keane in the past Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo is hoping the only claret spilled today will be the post match red wine.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

AFTER a couple of fiery clashes with Roy Keane in the past Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo is hoping the only claret spilled today will be the post match red wine.

Keane saw red at Wembley during the Charity Shield in 2000 when he was sent off for shoving the Chelsea star Di Matteo but both are now respected managers and those days are behind them.


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Di Matteo said: “I think we will both be happy to have a glass of wine now after the games rather than clashing on the field.

“We had a few battles during our careers and I always enjoyed them because there were always good clashes against Manchester United and against Roy Keane in particular.

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“We were always fair. It was hard and tough but fair.

“He was a good player and a strong personality who was well-respected in his team.”

Di Matteo is refusing to read anything into Ipswich's poor start to the season, Keane's men have just one point from three matches, but he still fancies them for a promotion push.

“We have to focus on ourselves and not think about who we're facing.

“Ipswich are going to be very determined because they want to pick up some points.

“They are going to come to The Hawthorns and make our life as difficult as possible and not give us any chances and we have to be able to deal with that because most teams will come to our ground and try to sit deep and defend with a lot of bodies.

“I think at the end of the season Ipswich will be up there.”

With Jonathan Greening sold to Fulham keeper Scott Carson will take the captain's armband.

Albion will be without midfielder Graham Dorrans who is suspended with Robert Korens likely to take his place. Former Portsmouth and Charlton striker Jerome Thomas could make his full debut with Marek Cech dropping to the bench.

Although drug-taking Roman Bednar is back f5om his three month ban he is not likely to be involve just yet but he has spoken of his shame at being caught in possession and taking cocaine.

Bednar said: “It hasn't been an easy time for me so I'm really happy to be back. I know what I've done. It was a stupid mistake. But all I'm doing now is focusing on my football.

“I deeply regret what's happened. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I aim to learn from this experience.

“I've had lots of support, starting with my family and friends. The club have also been unbelievable.

“They've really stood by me. The fans I've met have been great and I hope when I play at the stadium again everything will be OK.

“Everybody has supported me. I'm now ready to fight and show everybody how grateful I am for their support.”

Bednar has been back in training for a week - his first work with new boss Di Matteo - and the former Hearts striker believes he could be back to full fitness within a fortnight.

The striker said: “The head coach seems like a really good guy. He's going to give me a chance to put things right.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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