September 11, 2017 / 7:10 AM / in a year

Poyet quits as Shanghai Shenhua coach

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Uruguayan Gus Poyet resigned as coach of Shanghai Shenhua on Monday after a 2-1 loss to Henan Jianye at the weekend left the big-spending club languishing in 12th place in the Chinese Super League.

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

The club’s 11th defeat in 23 matches this season came despite the introduction of Carlos Tevez off the bench after the Argentine forward’s return from injury on Sunday.

“Mr Poyet formally offered his resignation to Shanghai Shenhua today,” read a statement on the club website.

“After considering the decision, the club has agreed to accept Mr Poyet’s resignation. From today, Mr Poyet will no longer be head coach of the club.”

Shenhua said Wu Jingui, a former coach of the club who was working as technical director, would take over from the former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder.

Poyet was appointed Shenhua head coach in November last year and was tasked with building on the third place finish in the Chinese Super League by predecessor Gregorio Manzano.

However, Poyet’s time in charge started badly with Shenhua losing 2-0 to Australia’s Brisbane Roar in a playoff for a place in the group stages of the Asian Champions League.

Shenhua bounced back with a 4-0 win over Jiangsu Suning in the opening game of the Chinese Super League season only for the club to endure an inconsistent run due to injuries, suspensions and continued speculation over the future of Tevez.

“It had been difficult and it was very, very strange,” Poyet said of the season prior to his decision to resign.

“So many things happened and unfortunately we couldn’t get the consistency that I was convinced we would get just before playing Brisbane, even though we didn’t start well.

“All of those things that happened didn’t let us play the strongest team or a consistent team. For example, in defence, after 10 games I had played seven different back fours. I don’t remember ever that happening anywhere.

“It’s not an excuse, it’s reality. I’m not complaining, it’s just been a difficult season.”

Shenhua still have the chance to win silverware with the club leading 1-0 after the first leg of their Chinese FA Cup semi-final tie with second division side Shanghai Shenxin. The second leg will be played on Sept. 29.

Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, editing by Ian Ransom and Nick Mulvenney

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