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Nick Watkins has described the Italian's time in charge as "management by hand grenade", but conceded that the club reached their objectives under his stewardship

Former Swindon Town chief executive Nick Watkins has described Paolo Di Canio as "a challenge” to work with, but has admitted disappointment over the Italian's recent departure from the club.

The 44-year-old resigned from his position with the League One side in February, blaming broken promises from the board regarding the sale of striker Matt Ritchie without his permission.

And Watkins, who also recently left the club following the arrival of new owners, has termed Di Canio’s tenure “management by hand grenade”.

"Paolo Di Canio was a challenge - no question," Watkins told BBC Wiltshire.

"He was demanding to work alongside and had his own style. He spoke very much from the heart and along the way created a bit of collateral damage that I had to repair.

"Often I refer to it as management by hand grenade. Paolo would chuck a hand grenade and I would do the repair work at the end, like the Red Cross."

Di Canio led Swindon to the League Two title and third place in League One during his 21-month spell in the dugout, and Watkins believes his achievements should be lauded.

"For all that people may think of Paolo, he did achieve the objective," he continued.

"[Former chairman] Jeremy Wray identified the need to bring someone into the club who was going to rejuvenate after the sense of despair we got when we were relegated.

"Paolo re-energised the town, re-energised the football club and got us promoted. It's just disappointing he didn't stay to see the job done."

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