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Villa boss Di Matteo warns players to obey team rules

Britain Football Soccer - Aston Villa - Dr Tony Xia & Roberto Di Matteo Press Conference - Villa Park - 15/6/16 New manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs/ Livepic
Britain Football Soccer - Aston Villa - Dr Tony Xia & Roberto Di Matteo Press Conference - Villa Park - 15/6/16New manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conferenceAction Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs/ Livepic

REUTERS - New Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has warned his players to abide by team rules in the Championship as they prepare to make a quick return to the Premier League following last season's relegation from the top flight.

In Villa's previous campaign, talented midfielder Jack Grealish was banished to the under-21 squad following reports of a visit to a Manchester nightclub hours after a 4-0 loss at Everton in November, missing two Premier League games.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Joleon Lescott also angered fans for playing a game involving chewing gum on the bench as Villa were held to a 1-1 draw with fourth-tier side Wycombe in the FA Cup, according to British media reports.

"We are going to have our rules, our code of conduct and if someone steps outside there are certainly going to be consequences," Di Matteo, who took charge at the club earlier this month, told British media.

"I will have discussions with all the players, not just one or two. At the end of the day, there are rules people have to obey."

Seven-times English champions Villa finished 20th in the league last season to drop down to the second tier for the first time since 1987.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)

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