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Egypt’s former coach and Al Arab’s new coach Hassan Shehata holds his jersey after signing a one-year contract with the Qatari club, during a news conference in Doha, yesterday.
DOHA: New Al Arabi coach Hassan Shehata yesterday pledged to do his best to turn things around for the struggling Qatar Stars League (QSL) side but said he had ‘no magic wand’.
The 63-year-old former Egypt coach signed a one-year deal with Al Arabi yesterday.
“I have joined a great club where everyone is talking about big things and achievements, but we have take into account that I do not have a magic wand,” Shehata said after signing the deal in the presence of club Secretary General Ahmed Al Emadi and other officials.
“I can’t produce the results overnight. We need to put in a big effort for us to be competitive,” the popular Egyptian added with a huge smile.
“I want this club to progress and play to its true potential,” he said at a press conference yesterday.
“I want this team to play an attacking game and reach the semi-finals of big events in Qatar,” he said.
“It is a difficult path but I take this as a challenge,” he said.
“I have confidence in the bunch of players I have at my disposal,” he explained.
“I want to compliment the support of our fans by getting positive results,” Shehata said.
“We want to see smiles on the faces of the fans of Al Arabi,” he said.
Shehata said putting pen to paper was not difficult as ‘negotiations went smoothly’.
“For me, the club is above everything else,” he added quickly.
Shehata has replaced Frenchman Pierre Lechantre who was fired by the Al Arabi management just three matches into the new QSL season almost two weeks ago.
“I have been given full powers by the Board of Directors and I know how to deal with the players. I know there won’t be any interference in my work. I believe in working as a team and that is good for the atmosphere in our camp,” the Egyptian said.
When asked about Al Arabi’s recent performances, Shehata said he watched the team in action against Umm Salal in their QNB Qatar Stars Cup match on Thursday.
He said five of the players were sharp on the pitch whereas Al Arabi missed three of their regulars who are with the Qatar national squad for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match.
Al Arabi’s Abdulaziz Hatem, Majdi Siddique and Rajab Hamza are away on national duty.
Shehata is joined by backroom staff of four people.
Recently Shehata was the head coach of the Zamalek SC, an Egyptian club.
He was the head coach Egyptian national team from 2004 to 2011.
He led Egypt to three successive titles at the African Cup of Nations - in 2006, 2008 and 2010 - to become the first African nation to achieve this feat.
Shehata is the longest-serving coach in the Egyptian national team history.