Sacked Al Wahda coach Jose Peseiro believes he could have delivered the Clarets’ first Arabian Gulf League title in five years had he remained in charge this season.
The Portuguese was surprisingly dismissed last week despite a hugely successful 15 months in charge at Al Nahyan Stadium, including a 20-match unbeaten top-flight run.
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Speaking for the first time since leaving the club, the 54-year-old said lifting the title would have been possible under his guidance.
“I believe the team could have won the league this season,” he told Sport360.
“We played a lot of tough matc-hes away, including Bani Yas, Al Shabab, Al Jazira and Al Ain – we only played Al Ahli at home.”
Peseiro does not hold a grudge and hopes the team can go on to achieve success. He also wished replacement Sami Al Jaber luck for the rest of the season, starting with tomorrow’s AFC Champions League qualifier with Al Sadd.
He said: “Al Wahda was an amazing experience for me and I hope Al Jaber will do well as he was my player at Al Hilal. The club can improve and I believe in the players – the future for the club is good.”
Despite the recent disappointment, Peseiro is happy in the UAE and wants to manage another AGL team.
“I want to stay here and I would like to manage another team in the UAE,” he said. “I have not had any offers from any clubs but I am here and I am available – I like the UAE, so I will wait for good things.”
Meanwhile, Bani Yas completed their foreign quota beyond the close of the winter transfer window after signing Dubai-born Swedish forward Imad Khalili on Sunday as a replacement for injury-plagued midfielder Kim Jung-woo.
Arabian Gulf League regulations allowed a grace period for clubs to operate beyond last Thursday’s deadline if they had a spot vacant in their four-player foreign quota.
Khalili, 27, has spent the majority of his careeer in Sweden. But he played in Asia last year for Shanghai SIPG and Al Shabab Riyadh.
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