x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Eid Baroot willing but waiting on Al Wasl extension

Wasl caretaker coach says his future is in the club's hands despite suggestions a contract has been agreed.

Eid Baroot is happy to stay, but will not hazard a guess on the management's decision. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Eid Baroot is happy to stay, but will not hazard a guess on the management's decision. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

DUBAI // Eid Baroot, the Al Wasl caretaker coach, says his long-term future at the club is dependent solely on its new board.

The Emirati has enjoyed a relatively successful nine weeks at the Zabeel Stadium, guiding a previously under-performing side to three victories and a draw from seven Pro League matches.

The recent up-tick in results had seemed to convince his employers Baroot deserved an extended contract, with a Wasl official confirming the news in a television interview following Saturday's 2-1 victory over Al Shabab.

However, Baroot has denied a permanent deal has been agreed, although he intimated he would certainly be willing to commit to the club for the 2013/14 campaign.

"The club has already spoken with me regarding the contract and how I feel, what I want and all these things, and so the final decision is still with them," he said yesterday. "They have to decide. I have a contract with the club until the end of June and they have the right to choose any coach they want.

"From the first day I arrived, and I have always repeated this to the press, it has been my pleasure, my honour and to my happiness that I'm at Al Wasl. But, at the end of the day, it's up to the committee."

Wasl will be keen to welcome a period of stability at the club, having recruited four managers since Diego Maradona was dismissed last summer. In October, Bruno Metsu, the Frenchman of significant pedigree in this region, asked to be relieved of his duties because of illness. His assistant Gilles Morisseau, temporarily replaced Metsu.

Guy Lacombe, who had led seven France clubs, including Paris St Germain, was hired in November and dismissed in February following a sequence of two victories from nine matches.

Baroot was then installed, on an interim basis until the summer, only weeks before the Wasl board of directors resigned.

Yet the fresh contract offer proves the latest committee, led by the chairman Abdullah Hareb, have faith in their current coach, although Baroot remained coy regarding the details of the negotiations.

"It's very difficult to explain what's going on in the contract with the press," he said. "Only the club and I know how the contract is, what I want and want they want. Things are very clear.

"This is the short answer I can give you. The club evaluate the coach. I've been here for about 65 days and they can judge the coach and the results. They're here everyday on the pitch and can see my personality.

"It's very open," he added. "And I have a feeling they respect me a lot. But if they want my services, this is up to them. Things change very fast. We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. The committee brought me here and they can keep me or let me go."

Given the current uncertainly surrounding his future, Baroot said he was not in a position to begin plans to refine the squad for next season. Instead, he called for his present players to remain fully focused for the final four games of the term, starting with Friday's trip to Kalba.

Wasl sit ninth in the standings.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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