x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Settling in quickly is the aim for new Al Ain coach

Gallo will use a week's training camp in Abu Dhabi to assess which areas he needs to work on to turn the club's fortunes from their 10th position.

Alexandre Gallo, the Al Ain coach, at yesterday’s press conference to present him to the media.
Alexandre Gallo, the Al Ain coach, at yesterday’s press conference to present him to the media.

AL AIN // Alexandre Gallo will use a week's training camp in Abu Dhabi to assess his squad and which areas he needs to strengthen if he is to turn around the club's fortunes and earn himself and extended stay in the Pro League.

The Brazilian was unveiled as the club's new coach yesterday, signing a six-month contract to replace Abdulhameed al Mishtiki and he is charged with the task of improving the club's lowly position of 10th in the league.

The nine-time league champions are just two points above the relegation zone and Gallo, along with Ahmed Abdulla, his assistant, will attempt to find out why the 2003 Asian Champions League winners are underperforming during the camp in the capital next week.

"My first task will be to familiarise myself with the players and adapt to the competitions as quickly as possible," Gallo, 43, said.

"It is important for me to know the players and then the opponents as well. I will work closely with my assistant on his local knowledge. Obviously we don't have much time but we have planned a one-week camp after the Dhafra game [last night] to work on the new strategies and progress of the team.

"We will also decide which positions we need to fill and services of the foreign players during the mid-season transfer window. Obviously we don't have any hopes in the league but we will try to finish as high as possible but there are the two cups and the Asian Champions League that we can work on."

Given that Gallo has managed 12 clubs in eight years and that Pro League clubs, in general, operate a revolving door policy when it comes to coaches, the chances of Gallo lasting beyond the length of his contract not high.

Gallo yesterday defended his failure to settle at one particular club. He began his coaching career as assistant to Carlos Alberto Parreira at Corinthians in 2002 and assistant to Dario Pareyra at Gremio in the following year.

He got his first break in 2004 when he started as head coach of Villa Nova. He was then invited by Vanderlei Luxemburgo to work as his assistant at Santos where they won the Brazilian championship together. When Luxemburgo was signed by Real Madrid, Gallo was appointed the Santos head coach in the 2004/2005 season.

Gallo moved to FC Tokyo in Japan in 2006 and had brief spells with Sport, Internacional, Figueirense, Santo Andre and Nautico in Brazil before he arrived in Al Ain.

"In Brazil, it is hard for both the players and coaches because the jobs are very demanding," he said. "Unless you are well established, it is hard to stay in one job. But I have had a fair share of success with whoever I worked. I wish I can be successful with Al Ain to possible stay a little longer than the six-month contract."

Gallo watched Al Ain play out a 1-1 home draw with Al Shabab in the league on December 23 and was in charge of the team last night for their 3-2 victory against Al Dhafra in the Etisalat Cup at the Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium.

"I believe in hard work and if we can work together as a team, we will definitely progress," Gallo said. "I am not really interested in the past results and what happened in the past. I am looking ahead to the next half of the season."

 

apassela@thenational.ae