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Saturday, 27 August 2011 12:31

Guimaraes: Machado resigns

Veteran becomes first coaching casualty of the season

Manuel Machado has resigned as coach of Vitoria de Guimaraes with immediate effect, the Minho club confirmed via a statement on their website last night. The tactician's latest spell at the helm of his hometown club began in the summer of 2010, and was characterised by a disconnect between on-pitch achievements and supporter unease.

Having enjoyed considerable success at Nacional, Machado returned to Guimaraes for the 2010/11 season, though his association with the club stretches back to 1990, when he was put in charge of the Under-19 squad. He subsequently served as assistant to Vitor Oliveira and Jaime Pacheco in 1995/96, before returning as head coach in 2004/05.

This latest spell saw Machado secure Europa League football via a 5th-place finish and a run to the Taca de Portugal final, but his sometimes negative tactics and the squad's noticeable slump in form during the second half of the campaign created to an uncomfortable relationship with the supporters, many of whom protested in the run-up to Guimaraes' Taca semi-final second leg against Academica. 

Machado guided his men through that tricky period, but despite a number of new arrivals over the summer, the club has retained a somewhat stale feeling into 2011/12. Guimaraes barely scraped past FC Midtjylland in the Europa League third qualifying round, before being pummelled 6-0 on aggregate by Atletico Madrid. Machado's pre-second leg press conference had, in hindsight, an air of resignation to it, and his listlessness clearly found its way into the performances of many players on Thursday evening. 

Speaking to the media yesterday, Guimaraes sporting director Jose Pereira hinted at internal divisions over investment and the attitude of some squad members, but expressed his regret that the man known as 'o professor' felt that his position was no longer tenable.

Machado's assistant Basilio Marques will take over his duties for the time being, although a replacement is being actively sought. Current Pacos de Ferreira coach Rui Vitoria is the early frontrunner in today's papers, with both O Jogo and A Bola naming the youthful, attack-minded trainer as Guimaraes' first choice. Veterans Manuel Cajuda, Toni, and Ulisses Morais are among the other names being thrown into the ring. 

Guimaraes continue their Liga campaign at home to Beira-Mar tomorrow evening. 

Ben Shave
Comments (1)
Not Surprising
1 Monday, 29 August 2011 03:12
The life of a Portuguese league manager. They normally only last two years and then they are out. Either by their own accord or the teams.

I mostly feel sorry for the fans at Guimaraes. By all accounts the players have looked disinterested or clueless on the field. Eirther way not good.

Hopefully they will be able to get this turned around. The fans deserve better.

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