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Tuesday, 27 May 2014 14:02

Sérgio Conceiçao appointed new Braga boss

sergio-conceicao-braga-20140527.jpgReview of Braga’s 2013/14 season

Braga yesterday announced Sérgio Conceição as their new coach. The former Académica and Olhanense manager has signed a two-year contract at the Quarry.
“This is a fantastic challenge for me. We are out of Europe so all our efforts will be on doing well in the cups and the league. We will fight for a top-four finish,” said the ambitious Conceição.
The ex FC Porto winger and 56-time Portugal international added: “Modesty apart, I’m convinced I can achieve as much success in my coaching career as I did as a player. I will give maximum determination, hard work and dedication and I’m proud to be able to honour this club, this city and these fans.”  

A Season to forget – review of Braga’s 2013/14

In previous years Braga have regularly fought at the top of the table, even entertaining the notion that they had turned the “big three” into a “big four” in Portugal. It was not the case for Os Arsenalistas this season, who ended up ninth – their worst finish in the Primeira Liga since the 2002/03 season. So what exactly went wrong at SC Braga?
Braga’s President Antonio Salvador placed great trust and faith in the hiring of Jesualdo Ferreira (who previously managed the club between 2003-2006) and would have been hoping for a successful season both domestically and in Europe. With each season the expectations of both Salvador and the fans had been raised, but this would not have concerned Ferreira who is seen as the man who started Braga’s rise to the top. Ferreira’s return to Braga started terribly with a 2-1 aggregate loss to Romanian side Pandurii Târgu Jiu in the Europa League playoff round. Everyone at the club firmly believed it was just a hiccup and that Braga would turn the disappointment around.

Key departures

But the departure of several key players (notably Ruben Amorim, Beto and Mossoro) from the AXA proved harder to overcome than might have been imagined, with the contributions of such experienced campaigners badly missed. For the whole season the players seemed unsure and hesitant when moving the ball around the pitch and there was nobody in the midfield who could transform the game with their creativity and box-to-box play.
It did not help Braga that their top scorer from 2012/13 Éder was out injured for most of the season. Braga’s only real star players were Rafa, Felipe Pardo and Alan while players such as Ruben Michel, Eduardo, Coelho and Custódio were inconsistent and never able to lift the team in tough situations. 
If there was one word that would sum up Braga’s campaign, it would be ‘inconsistent’. At times, Braga showed flashes of brilliant attacking football, good examples being the 4-1 thrashings of Olhanense and Gil Vicente as well as the 3-0 win against local rivals Vitória Guimarães, Braga’s best performance all season. However, they could never string a sequence of positive results together, more often than not played poorly, and were frustrating to watch as little progress was evident week to week.

Ferreira out, Paixão In

In February Ferreira was sacked and replaced by somewhat of an unknown manager Jorge Paixão. The questionable decision initially brought about a slight improvement but by the end of the campaign Paixão had seemingly run out of ideas and the ability to motivate his team. In his 10 league games in charge of Braga he collected just 10 points.
With Braga struggling in the league, the club turned their attentions to the Taça da Liga and Taça de Portugal, and having reached the semi-finals in both competitions a route into the Europa League next season was there for the taking, especially as Braga would face off against Rio Ave in both cups. It was not to be however. Two defeats against a well-organised side but far from one of Portugal’s top teams was a bitter pill to swallow for Braga’s fans.
It is now time for Braga to analyse, assess and think of ways to improve the team for the next campaign. The appointment of Sérgio Conceição as the new manager is an interesting one, with the ambitious young manager looking to get the club back to the top.
Without the distraction of competing in Europe, Braga will be able to focus on the league and challenge for a place in Europe. But patience will be needed by everybody at the Quarry as the club look to rebuild and redeem themselves after a write-off of a season.
by Vlado Angelkovski
Comments (2)
2 Thursday, 29 May 2014 14:09
Braga, lost out on a wonderful opportunity to cement themselves as perennial contenders. It's a shame really, but they weren't able to convert their European success into much of anything.
They still rely on older players and haven't brought in anyone that's sellable. By all accounts they might have sold players when holding and developing them for bigger pay days might have been the best course of action.
Braga has gone back to what they really are. Part of the pack of inconsistent clubs in our league, who every once in a while will make a splash. They could actually assert themselves sooner than later, because the league allows that. Adding two more clubs, only helps clubs like Braga.

Further more, it's a bit disconcerting hearing how a club that struggled in midfield and had a goalie that failed to impress was able to take players of said positions to the World Cup.
1 Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:15
Its always glad to hear about our favourite players even after their retirement...i like this player very much and remember his great performance against germany at euro 2000..

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