x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Work starts for new Ahli manager

Quique Flores Sanchez will be presented by Ahmed Khalifa, the Dubai club chief executive, at the Rashed Stadium on Thursday.

Quique Flores Sanchez will on Thursday outline his blueprint to transform the fortunes of Al Ahli when he is introduced as manager of the Pro League club.

The Spaniard, 46, will be presented by Ahmed Khalifa, the chief executive, at 3pm at the Rashed Stadium and will observe the team's Etisalat Cup game at Al Nasr on Sunday.

Mohammed Jalbot is likely to pick the team for the match against their Dubai rivals; he took charge of the first training session since Ivan Hasek was fired. The assistant coaches Ludik Lusacek and Nouriddine Mohammed, who doubled as Hasek's translator, were also fired on Monday night.

Michael Dufour, the fitness coach, has so far been retained. Tony Coton, the former Manchester United goalkeeping coach, and Malcolm Thompson, the reserve-team coach, also remain on the staff after surviving the cull in April that led to David O'Leary and Roy Aitken, his No 2, being ousted.

Flores Sanchez is likely to bring several trusty assistants and lieutenants with him to Dubai but one of his main tasks will be to harness the talents of Jakson Coelho.

It is believed that Hasek's refusal to indulge the Brazilian, signed on a three-year deal for a reported €4.5 million (Dh22.5m) from Turkey's Trabzonspor, caused friction with the club's board of directors and, along with a poor sequence of results, led to his departure.

Hasek harboured doubts about Coelho's ability to perform defensive duties and it was Coelho who was hooked after 75 minutes of a 4-0 mauling at the hands of Al Jazira last month. He has not featured since.

Flores Sanchez will, though, inherit Luis Jimenez, the Chilean summer recruit, and Grafite, the former Wolfsburg forward.

sports@thenational.ae