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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 January 2019

New Al Shabab manager Fred Rutten ‘faces many great challenges’

'Also, I have this huge task of assisting the team to continue developing its players,' says Dutchman, who replaces the departing Caio Junior.
Former Feyenoord coach Fred Rutten will take charge of Al Shabab for the 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League season. Andrew Medichini / AP Photo
Former Feyenoord coach Fred Rutten will take charge of Al Shabab for the 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League season. Andrew Medichini / AP Photo

Al Shabab manager Fred Rutten has described the new role as a “great challenge,” although he would not talk about his targets for next season.

The Dutchman, who previously managed among others PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and Schalke, was installed at the Dubai club on Sunday, immediately following the final round of the 2015/16 Arabian Gulf League. He replaces Caio Junior.

Rutten, 53, said: “I face many great challenges as this is my first time in the Gulf region. Also, I have this huge task of assisting the team to continue developing its players.

“However, the preliminary data, the club’s attention to its players and the team’s previous matches that I‘ve watched on television, all give a positive impression despite the difficult challenges which accompany this new experience.”

See also:

• John McAuley: Caio Junior to leave Al Shabab ‘not happy with some situations’, but ‘happy with job I’ve done’

• John McAuley: Former PSV coach Fred Rutten emerges as candidate for Al Jazira position

Rutten has returned to the Netherlands to finalise details for his transition to the UAE and will come back next month for pre-season. He is expected, though, to be in regular contact with the Shabab management as the club bid to improve the squad for next season.

Shabab finished fifth in the league this year and reached the Arabian Gulf Cup final, but have resolved to let both captain Carlos Villanueva and Brazilian striker Juninho Potiguar leave.

They have yet to decide on Azizbek Haydarov, but are willing to listen to offers for the Uzbekistan midfielder. Forward Henrique Luvannor is the only foreign player certain to be retained.

Asked about his objectives at Shabab, Rutten said: “I will not make any promises regarding the outcomes. What I can confirm right now is that we need time to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the team as well as the potential players for the coming season. Only then can we talk about the outcomes.

“The next couple of months require much work and effort as we analyse the players’ performance and we find the adequate mechanisms for developing them and improving their technical level. I look forward to our achievements in the coming season.”

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Updated: May 10, 2016 04:00 AM

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