UAE

Outgoing coach Javier Aguirre confident Al Wahda will continue to improve in the future

Denzil Pinto 19:39 21/05/2017
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Javier Aguirre has declared he will always be a fan of Al Wahda and is confident the club will continue to thrive when he finally leaves this week.

The Mexican was given a final farewell by the management on Sunday after two years in charge of the Abu Dhabi side.

During his stint, the 58-year-old won the Arabian Gulf Cup in his maiden season before guiding the side to their second President’s Cup and first in 17 years after a 3-0 victory over Al Nasr on Friday.

But that wasn’t enough for the former Atletico Madrid and Japan boss to earn an extension to his deal, which expires this month yet Aguirre, who shook hands with every journalist prior to the press conference, insists the foundations are laid to build on this success.

“I’m really proud of the players at the team,” he said, where he received a memento from the club for his services. “Fourteen of the 25 players have come from our second team and that means the big work is beginning to pay off at our academy.

“There is a very young first-team today and there is good base for them in the next four to five years for sure. They will be playing in the Arabian Super Cup and AFC Champions League which is a good challenge for them. I’ll be a fan of Wahda  and wish the club all the best.”

In his two seasons in charge, the club failed to mount a serious title assault in the Arabian Gulf League after finishing a distant third and fifth behind champions Al Ahli and Al Al Jazira.

He admits he did some mistakes during his helm but was unsure how he would like to be remembered at Al Nahyan Stadium.

“I have done my job as hard as I could. I know I made a lot of mistakes and that many fans did not like me. But I’m proud to have been here and I’ll take these good memories with me. These two or three days will be unforgettable for me.”

Aguirre will now assess his options on where his next managerial job will be but for now, taking rest and enjoying time with his family remains his priority.

“I already have offers but from tomorrow I will rest first. I need to take my time, I worked 12 years in La Liga and in four  World Cups either as a head coach or an assistant. There is a lot of pressure being a coach but I need to stay calm for a couple of months and then I will see.

“I feel I can give more and more of my experience, expertise but now I have nothing. The only idea I have is to take rest.”

For club president Ahmad Al Rumaithi, he paid tribute to Aguirre for his services. “It’s a management decision to part ways with the manager. Fans will support the manager whenever he wins but will rise against him when he doesn’t deliver. We all know that. It’s not an easy decision to take when you win a major title but it’s not one person’s decision.

“We have high regard for Aguirre and we appreciate the work he had done with us for two years. It is unfortunate we have to go different ways but it’s all done in the best interest of the club.

Aguirre is almost certain to be replaced by ex-Al Hilal supremo Laurentiu Reghecampf although Al Rumaithi insists talks over the new manager is still on-going.

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