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Ahly back coach Garrido despite critical comments

Despite poor performances in the league and a slow run in the CAF Champions League, Ahly say they will keep their coach until the end of his contract

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 26 Apr 2015
Carlos Garrido
Ahly's coach Juan Carlos of Spain Garrido (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 1228

Ahly coach Juan Carlos Garrido will stay in his post until the end of his contract and there are no plans to release him before the end of the season, board member Mohamed Abdel-Wahab has told a television programme.

The 46-year-old tactician, who signed a two-year contract with the Cairo giants in July 2014, is currently under fire after comments in an interview in which he criticised the size of his squad, poor stadiums, the crowd ban and a lack of medical support.

"When I arrived in Egypt I asked about the crowd ban and they told me it would be resolved in the near future but that still hasn’t happened," Garrido said.

"No one knows how this affects the players during games," he added.

"I asked the chairman to remove the barriers that affect the team's performance, like poor stadium conditions."

He also criticised the flights when they play away games in the African Champions League tournament, saying: "We suffer from very bad flights that make the players tired."

"I asked the management to increase the number of team doctors as we have only one doctor for physiotherapy and another for diet."

"The team also suffers from huge number of players in the squad. There are 31 players of whom I choose 11, and that could affect the unnamed players so we need to reduce the size of the squad."

"I spoke to Ahly's football director about that but there has been no answer," Garrido concluded.

In reply, the club's management said Garrido has their full support and everything he said is common to all Egyptian teams at the moment.

Garrido retracts comments

The Ahly board held a meeting with the Spanish coach to discuss his comments and their effect on the team's supporters.

"Garrido's comments were not against the management as the media claimed. He was speaking about the difficulties that affect the team and did not criticise the board," Ahly board member Mohamed Abdel-Wahab told a television programme.

"He will continue until the end of his contract with team and he is working to rebuild the squad with new young players," he added.

From his side Garrido said: "My comments were misunderstood."

"I have full support from the management, I am not criticising them, it's the rules they are forced to work under," Garrido told the club's official website.

"I respect the management as they always remove the barriers that affect the team," Garrido added.

"During the interview I simply tried to make things clear to the supporters by revealing the problems that have affected our performance and results," the Ahly tactician said.

Ahly rarely release coaches in the middle of the season, so they have decided to keep Garrido until the end of the ongoing season and they will decide his future based on his performance.

Although Garrido, who took over in the summer, steered Ahly to the Egyptian Super Cup and African Confederation Cup titles in his first season in charge, he was heavily criticised following some below-par displays in the domestic league.

Ahly's hopes of equalling their own record of winning the league title nine times in a row have been dealt a serious blow as they are 3rd in the table with 46 points, eight points behind leaders and arch-rivals Zamalek.

The management are currently working to rebuild the team again after the retirement of veteran stars last season. In a step to meet the management's hopes, Garrido has promoted several youngsters to the first team and signed two foreign players in January – Nigerian striker Peter Ebimobowei and Brazilian-German midfielder Hendrik Helmke.

Ahly are competing in the CAF Champions League where they have reached the round of 16, losing the first leg to Moghreb Tétouan 1-0 in Morocco. The second leg will be played in Egypt next week.

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