x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Al Wasl must move quickly to appoint permanent replacement to Bruno Metsu, warns stand-in coach

Gilles Morisseau, caretaker coach at Al Wasl, says the club must quickly make a decision regarding Bruno Metsu's successor - but would not confirm if he would like the position permanently himself.

Al Wasl's Mahmoud Abdeiraek kisses a banner wishing former head coach Bruno Metsu well after celebrating his goal against Al Dhafra
Al Wasl's Mahmoud Abdeiraek kisses a banner wishing former head coach Bruno Metsu well after celebrating his goal against Al Dhafra

DUBAI // Gilles Morisseau, the man in temporary charge of Al Wasl, says the club must quickly make a decision regarding Bruno Metsu's successor, although he declined to confirm if he would like the position permanently.

The Frenchman was appointed caretaker coach earlier this month following news Metsu is suffering from serious illness, with the former UAE national team manager last week requesting he be relieved of his duties to seek medical treatment.

Understandably, Morisseau was reluctant to put his name forward for the role immediately after Sunday night's Pro League home draw with Al Dhafra, given his close relationship with Metsu, the 58 year old who took the reins at the Zabeel Stadium club only in July.

"This is a question you must ask the club," Morisseau said. "They decide. Me, I don't decide. First they make the decision and after, if they propose the job to me, I will decide. That's it.

"At this time I don't have an idea. I wait for the position of the club. But what is most important is the position of Bruno. He took the decision [to leave the club], which was the first point. Now the club have to decide something. And after we will find out one way or not."

Morisseau's modest playing career included a spell at Nice four years after Metsu enjoyed a season there in the early 1980s, with the 51 year old fostering a strong bond with his compatriot when working alongside side him as a coach at Al Gharafa, the Qatar side, and the Qatari national team.

"Besides the working relationship, there is a big friendship. It was a pleasure to work with Bruno as a coach and as a man," said Morisseau, whose three games in charge of Wasl have yielded two victories and the shared points with Dhafra.

"There is no difference [in style of play] because I know the way he works. I try to work in the same way and keep the same spirit.

"We passed the last two weeks in a very difficult way. But believe me, the spirit of Bruno and the mind of Bruno is always in the changing room. The players have a big respect for the big coach he is and the big man he is."

Morisseau projected a largely amiable personality throughout Sunday's post-match press conference, yet displayed his hostile side when asked if he thought he was ready to make his current role a long-term one.

"What you think?" he retorted, before adding: "As I said before, the club must make the decision, and very fast. After what they decide, whether I will say 'yes' or I will say 'no', I don't know."

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