Roberto Di Matteo enjoys winning start at Schalke

AFP| Last Updated: Oct 19, 2014, 09:22 AM IST
Roberto Di Matteo enjoys winning start at Schalke

Roberto di Matteo enjoyed a winning start as Schalke 04 coach on Saturday as his Royal Blues earned a 2-0 victory at home to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga.

The 44-year-old, who won the 2012 Champions League title with Chelsea, signed a three-year contract when he took over as Schalke coach after predecessor Jens Keller was sacked a fortnight ago.

Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gave Schalke the lead against Hertha in Gelsenkirchen with a long-range header on 19 minutes before Germany midfielder Julian Draxler grabbed their second with a well-taken goal on 65 minutes.

The result lifts Schalke up to eighth from 11th in the Bundesliga.

"The atmosphere was great, the game wasn`t spectacular, but it was important for us to get three points," said Di Matteo.

"It was very pleasing that we didn`t concede a goal. We were very committed and organised, we had two good chances in the first-half, but there is still work to do.

"We need to keep working on our organisation and the goal now is just to win as many games as possible."

Schalke host Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Tuesday and will play Group G leaders Chelsea in Gelsenkirchen on November 25.

The ex-Azzurri midfielder is the third Italian coach to work in the Bundesliga after Giovanni Trapattoni, who worked at Bayern Munich, and Nevio Scala, the former Borussia Dortmund boss.