Wu named Shenhua coach as Poyet resigns

2017-09-12 02:22:37 GMT2017-09-12 10:22:37(Beijing Time) Agencies
Former Uruguay international Gus Poyet has resigned as Shanghai Greenland Shenhua head coach Former Uruguay international Gus Poyet has resigned as Shanghai Greenland Shenhua head coach

Gus Poyet resigned as Shanghai Greenland Shenhua head coach on Monday following the team’s fourth successive league defeat on Sunday.

The Chinese Super League side announced that former Shenhua head coach Wu Jingui — currently the technical director at the club — will take over from the Uruguayan, who failed to complete the club’s goals set at the beginning of the season, which was to advance from the qualifiers of this year’s AFC Champions League, and to win a spot in next year’s Asian league with a top-tier finish in the CSL.

Shenhua is currently 12th in the 16-team standings on 24 points after 23 rounds, and is just eight points above the relegation zone.

“Mr Poyet formally offered his resignation to Shanghai Shenhua today,” Shenhua said in an official statement on Monday afternoon. “After considering the decision, the club has agreed to accept Mr Poyet's resignation.”

“The club is grateful to Mr Poyet and his team for one year of hard work despite all the unfavorable conditions. The club is now in a very difficult period. We hope that under Wu Jingui’s coaching, all coaches and players will adjust their form and attitude as soon as possible to rebuild the spirit of the team and turn around the situation.”

Wu earlier stint as Shenhua manager was in 2002, when he replaced veteran coach Xu Genbao. In 2003, Wu guided Shenhua to its first league title in eight years when it won the Chinese Jia-A League. This will be the fourth time that the 56-year-old Shanghai native will take charge of Shenhua.

Wu Jingui has been named Gus Poyet's replacement as Shanghai Greenland Shenhua head coach. Wu Jingui has been named Gus Poyet's replacement as Shanghai Greenland Shenhua head coach.

“This is a sudden decision,” Wu told local media at Shenhua’s training base in Pudong New Area after Monday's shock announcement. “The team is in a difficult period, but the fans and officials still have expectations from the team. As a technical team member, I know the team well, and I feel the responsibility and the determination to rebuild the team’s spirit. We are confident of making the players give full play to their skills again.”

“(Despite the present circumstances) we will still try to achieve the goal the club set for the season (to win a spot in next year’s AFC Champions League),” Wu added.

Shenhua’s next match will be the season’s second league derby against SIPG at Shanghai Stadium on Saturday.

Shenhua has reached the semifinals of this year’s CFA Cup, holding a 1-0 advantage after the first leg of the last four against second-tier Shanghai Shenxin. If it advances into the final, Shenhua will take on either city rival SIPG or CSL leader Guangzhou Evergrande in the fight for the championship. The CFA Cup champion also advances to next year’s Asian league.

The 49-year-old Poyet was appointed head coach last November, replacing Spaniard Gregorio Manzano, the current manager of another CSL team Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng.

Unlike SIPG, which allows head coach Andre Villas-Boas to decide on the purchase of foreign players, Shenhua has kept the right of buying foreign players with the club’s Chinese officials. However, the club’s purchase of Carlos Tevez this year has proved to be a failure, with the Argentina striker struggling to adapt and scoring only two goals — one from the penalty spot — in 12 appearances for Shenhua.

Shenhua lost 1-2 to Henan Jianye at Hongkou Football Stadium on Sunday. Tevez came on as a substitute in the 53rd minute when the score was 1-1.

Poyet said at the post-match press conference that he had no qualms about the technical arrangements for the match, including the two weeks of pre-match training.

The Uruguayan said a month ago, following Shenhua’s 0-3 home loss to Guizhou, that he has reached “his limit”, though club president Wu Xiaohui then expressed the club’s support for Poyet.

Meanwhile, Uli Stielike has been tasked with saving Tianjin Teda from relegation out of the CSL, three months after the German was axed as coach of South Korea.

Underlining the challenge facing the 62-year-old, Tianjin lost 1-3 at second-placed SIPG on Saturday and sits one place off the bottom of the CSL with seven games left.

Fellow German coaches Felix Magath and Roger Schmidt are already in the CSL, at Shandong Luneng and Beijing Guo'an, respectively.

"We look forward under Mr Stielike's leadership to being fearless and brave and not giving up, and completing the mission of staying in the league," Tianjin said in a statement announcing his appointment at the weekend.

"He has rich coaching experience and is good at motivating the team. He also has a certain understanding of Asian culture."

Stielike was in charge of South Korea from 2014 until his sacking in June following a shock defeat to Qatar that left its World Cup qualification hopes hanging in the balance.

South Korea appointed Shin Tae-yong to replace him and last week the country sealed a spot at Russia 2018.

Stielike, a former Real Madrid midfielder, takes over at Tianjin from another South Korean Lee Lim-saeng, who stepped down last month after just weeks in the job.

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