I never even met Di Matteo admits McCracken

Dons boss exits before meeting new signing

New signing David McCracken admitted after taking part in his first training session with Dons that he never even met Roberto Di Matteo.

The Scottish centre-back is one of three signings made before the Italian left for the West Bromwich Albion hotseat.

But speaking at his new side's opening pre-season session on Tuesday and before news that his new boss was leaving had broke, McCracken admitted that the two never actually crossed paths Di Matteo.

"I've not actually met the manager yet as he has been away doing his coaching stuff. But I think he is someone that you want to work with," he said.

The 27-year-old former Wycombe man will now not get that opportunity. Despite that though, he still says he is impressed with the club's set-up, and said he was glad to be at stadium:mk.

"This is a club that is going forward and I want to be a part of that. There seems to be a lot of ambition around here and I am an ambitious person.

"I am coming into a new team so I firstly want to become a regular as I know there are a few good players here. It is going to be hard, but it's a challenge that I am looking forward to."

One person who did have an influence on him moving from south to north Bucks was the club's other proud Scot, Peter Leven. The midfielder gave his new team mate a glowing reference on the club.

"I know Peter Leven from playing up in Scotland and I spoke to him before I came here. He only had good things to say about the club.

"He was part of the reason I came up, had a look around, met the chairman and met the assistant. It definitely looks like a club that is going in the right direction.

"I think with what the club did last year in failing to get promotion must have been a big disappointment.

"And when you see how well the club has done throughout the season, we can't look any lower than play-offs or automatic next time around."

But with a rivalry growing between his old club and the Dons after a number of fiery encounters in the last few years, the big defender admits it was quite a difficult decision to make the switch.

"It was a hard decision to make and I spoke to Peter Taylor about it, but for me I needed something slightly different.

"I wanted another challenge and a lot of people may think moving from one team in League One to another isn't really much of a challenge but it is. I'm starting again with a whole new club and group of players and I can't wait to get going."

And now he is just looking forward to a gut-wrenching pre-season.

"It is always good to get back in training and for myself it is good to get in and meet all the boys," he said.

"It is extremely hard work but this is where it really counts."