June 22, 2017 / 8:10 AM / a month ago

Shenhua back coach Poyet despite poor start to season

2 Min Read

Football Soccer - Chinese Super League - Shanghai Shenhua v Jiangsu Suning FC - Shanghai, China, - 5/3/17 - Shanghai Shenhua's coach Gus Poyet.Aly Song

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Gus Poyet has received the backing of the Shanghai Shenhua president following growing calls for the Uruguayan coach's dismissal after a disappointing start to the Chinese Super League season.

Club president Wu Xiaohui stressed that the Shenhua hierarchy were not considering replacing the former Chelsea midfielder despite pressure from sections of the Shanghai support to remove the 49-year-old following a poor run of form.

"Poyet out? We never gave a thought about it," Wu told reporters. "It's not happening and won't happen in a long time."

Shenhua made global headlines with the signing of former Manchester United and Juventus forward Carlos Tevez ahead of the current season, but the Argentine has failed to shine in a team that finds itself languishing at the wrong end of the table.

Shenhua suffered a damaging defeat at the hands of Australia's Brisbane Roar in the preliminary rounds of the Asian Champions League in Poyet's first game in charge and his side are currently 10th in the 16-team league on 13 points.

The Uruguayan, however, gained some relief on Wednesday as his team advanced to the quarter-finals of the Chinese FA Cup, with Fredy Guarin scoring the only goal as Shanghai defeated arch rivals Beijing Guoan.

"My pressure comes from my work not from the scores and results," Poyet said. "If you work with me, you will know that we work very hard every day.

"I came to Shenhua for many reasons, one of them is to help this team. Maybe I won't stay here in the future, but I hope the efforts I'm giving now can help the club in the future.

"When a team doesn't get good results the head coach will get fired, but as a head coach I work hard every day."

Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by John O'Brien

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