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Adel Abdel-Rahman criticises timing of Pițurcă deal
Former Ittihad Jeddah boss Adel Abdel-Rahman believes that the club’s board made a mistake when they announced the appointment of new club manager Victor Pițurcă just before the game against Al Nassr.
The former Al Ahly player was appointed as interim manager less than three weeks ago following the sacking of Romanian coach László Bölöni, suffering a 3-0 loss against Al Nassr in the process, before announcing that the match was his last one with the club.
“I didn’t complain about the signing of Pițurcă, I respect the club’s president and his decisions,” he told renowned Saudi TV program ‘Action Ya Dawry. “I was unhappy at the timing of the announcement, which came just before the game against Al Nassr; they should’ve announced it after the game.
“I was disappointed for my players, not for myself, I criticised the board out of anger.
“These [Ittihad] players are some of the best in the Kingdom right now, they are class. I focused more on the psychological side of matters, and we were like friends.”
The Egyptian manager then spoke about the Jeddah club’s defeat against Al-Nassr, and his former employers’ chances of winning the Saudi Professional League.
“Al Nassr’s key player was Abdel-Aziz Al-Jebreen, he made the difference for them,” he said. “To be honest, I think Ittihad are capable of winning the title, the team just needs some reinforcements. Pițurcă can succeed with the club if he manages to get close to the players.”
“I wasn’t offered any contract by the club; however, I’ll speak with the club president regarding a possible return.”
Despite the criticism from honourary board member Anmar Al-Ha’aly, Ittihad president Ibrahim Al-Balawi thanked Adel Abdel-Rahman and praised his work at the club.
“Abdel-Rahman was and is still loyal to us,” he said. “He had zero financial demands before Al Nassr game; Al-Ha’aly’s criticism of Abdel-Rahman is incorrect.”