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Wednesday, 09 December 2009 22:19

Le Mans put Duarte “in a difficult situation”

Coach speaks on departure

Paulo Duarte has spoken about his reasons for leaving as manager of French club Le Mans, revealing that his dual coaching of the Burkina Faso national side was a significant factor in his departure.

Former Leiria player Duarte took charge at the Ligue 1 side over the summer, having agreed to combine his duties with his role as head coach of the West African country, whom he will lead into the African Cup of Nations in Angola this January.

Le Mans president Henri Legarda pointed to this factor when discussing the decision to part ways with the Portuguese, with the team currently struggling in 19th place in the table. “I knew when we hired him in the summer that he would have to leave for a while in January. The truth is I did not expect to be in such a bad position in December,” Legarda said.

“At this moment, we can not do without the presence and influence of the head coach for a month. Paulo Duarte told me that he cannot betray the word he gave to the federation of Burkina Faso and so we decided by mutual consent to terminate our collaboration.”

Duarte admitted that the situation, as well as a poor run of results which have seen the team dragged deep into a relegation battle, made his situation untenable, before looking ahead to Burkina Faso’s participation in Africa next year.

“First of all, there were the results, which were not what we wanted,” Duarte said. “Secondly, yesterday at a meeting with the president, he proposed that during this difficult time I should stay with the club in December and January and not go to the African Nations Cup. He put me in a difficult situation and I immediately said no. I could not accept this condition, to deny Burkina Faso.

“We (Burkino Faso) are in the group of death and we play two of the best teams in Africa, Ivory Coast and Ghana, who are also in the World Cup. We have to approach it with confidence, because we have nothing to lose.”

Related article: Le Mans president backs Duarte

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