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Wednesday, 09 December 2009 15:45

Vitoria de Setubal set for another revolution

Manuel Fernandes starts winter clear-out

Manuel FernandesVitoria de Setubal, sitting rock bottom of the Liga Sagres table, have released five players. Miguel Rosa, Joao dos Santos, Vasco Varao, Diouf and Adul have all been told they are not part of the future plans of the club.
A further seven players are expected to receive their marching orders before the end of the year. Manuel Fernandes has publicly let it be known that drastic changes are needed to the 32-man squad if Vitoria are to have any chance of retaining their top-flight status this season.
The experienced coach, who surprisingly swapped Uniao de Leiria to take over the Sadinos earlier this season, has said he intends to keep hold of a maximum of 20 of his current players.
To boost the squad Fernandes is to scour the Brazilian market, and bring in some reinforcements on loan, possibly from Sporting, with whom he enjoys a special relationship. The former Sporting legend used his contacts at the Alvalade to bring in loanees at Leiria at the start of the season.
The latest upheavals at one of Portugal’s most historical clubs is just another episode in what has been a traumatic few months for Setubal. The cash-strapped club assembled an entirely new squad over the close-season at no cost, under rookie coach Carlos Azenha.
The experiment went disastrously wrong, and after a succession of heavy defeats Azenha was given the boot. Now Fernandes faces a real battle to save the club from relegation.
by Tom Kundert

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