'This is my destiny,' asserted Paolo di Canio, the new Swindon Town manager, after he breezed into the County Ground on Monday morning.
'A lion can't stay in a cage. A lion has to be on the pitch.'
Loud and proud: Paolo Di Canio holds the Swindon scarf aloft
Welcome back: Paolo Di Canio was unveiled by Swindon at the County Ground
He's back. Still remarkably lean at 42, still oozing charisma and still stark raving mad.
Swindon may have a reputation for blooding young managers, but never anybody quite like the enigmatic former Lazio and West Ham striker.
'I am the same Paolo di Canio as 10 years ago but more mature,' said the new Robins boss, who has signed a two-year deal at a club that finished bottom of League One this season.
The boss: Di Canio has accepted his first managerial post in League Two
'My (two) daughters have tamed me a little but I am still the same man. In life, I always wanted confrontation. To have a challenge. I'm not worried about strong characters.
'When I spoke to the chairman, I said I would like to have all players with two big b******s to make him astrong character. I would like to have Paolo di Canio's character in mydressing room - (but with) better players, of course.
'If we are 7-0 up with five minutes left, maybe I will sit on the bench and be quiet. (But) you will see Paolo di Canio move his hands and arms. It is normal. For Italians it istypical.'
Centre of attention: Di Canio signs his contract during the press conference
Di Canio's coaching experience is limited to his UEFA Pro Licence, visits to see former Chelsea boss CarloAncelotti at AC Milan's training ground and Friday nights playing eight-a-side matches against his brother's team.
'The two centre backs - one is a physics and mathematics teacher. One is a bricklayer. The right-wing player is a surgeon. The left back is a businessman, 54 years old,' he said.
But few League Two managers will be able to count England boss Fabio Capello, Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, Italy's World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi and Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp among their mentors.
Suited and booted: Di Canio attracted plenty of attention on his unveiling
'Capello's strong,' said Di Canio. 'He knows the moment to use the carrot and the stick. (But Redknapp) is afox, the most intelligent man I have met in football.'
The Italian also discussed his 'good contacts' , men including AC Milan vicepresident Adriano Galliani, whom he hopes will help him in his first managerial role - in providing players and advice. And behind the bluster, there was a recurring word: 'discipline'.
It is not necessarily one you would associate with a player remembered for pushing referee Paul Alcock to the ground while playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal in 1998. An 'accident', Di Canio called it.
Getting shirty: Di Canio intends to use his contacts to bring in signings
King of the County Ground: Di Canio stands on his new stomping ground
He added: 'Discipline is the son of the army. It means respect the rules, each other.
'None of the technical staff (fitness coach Claudio Donatelli and assistant Fabrizio Piccareta) are bringing their families over for at least two months until September. I do not want my staff in training to think about other things, like they have forgotten the bread or milk.
'I can understand the anger of a player if he does not agree with a bad decision on the pitch, but they cannot go over the top like I did in the past.' We wait to see if the lion really has been tamed.
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