Di Matteo stunned at his sacking

ROBERTO DI MATTEO admitted he was “surprised and disappointed” after being sacked by West Bromwich Albion.

The former Chelsea midfielder was placed on gardening leave yesterday with the Baggies outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

A statement released by Di Matteo through the League Manager’s Association read: “I was extremely surprised and disappointed to be relieved of my duties today.

“Winning promotion to the Barclays Premier League with West Brom last season was without doubt one of the highlights of my career and certainly my managerial career.”

The LMA themselves hit out at the sacking, with chief executive officer Richard Bevan saying: “Roberto represents yet another victim of the “hire and fire” mentality that pervades in our game. The club has big games ahead, and you have to question the decision to sack the manager.”

Two former Newcastle managers, Sam Allardyce and Chris Hughton, are among the favourites to succeed Di Matteo.