February 16, 2018 / 11:52 AM / 10 months ago

Barnsley appoint experienced coach Morais on 18-month deal

Soccer Football - Championship - Barnsley vs Fulham - Oakwell, Barnsley, Britain - January 27, 2018. General view outside the stadium before the match. Action Images/Craig Brough

(Reuters) - Barnsley have appointed well-travelled Portuguese Jose Morais as their head coach on an 18-month deal, the relegation-threatened Championship side announced on Friday.

Morais, 52, who worked under Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during his spells at Benfica, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea, replaces Paul Heckingbottom who moved to Leeds United earlier this month.

Barnsley are 22nd in the 24-team Championship (second tier) with 28 points from 31 games and the new manager’s mission to get the club out of the drop zone begins with Tuesday’s visit of basement side Burton Albion.

“We’re really pleased to have secured the club’s number one target from the start of the process,” Barnsley chief executive Gauthier Ganaye told the club’s website (www.barnsleyfc.co.uk).

“We look ahead to a vital part of the season under Jose’s leadership. He is excited about taking training straight away and installing his own vision on the squad, which has excited the club and its staff about the remainder of the campaign.”

The experienced Morais worked with Mourinho during a brief stint at Benfica before linking up with his compatriot at Inter Milan in the 2009-10 season where they guided the club to the Serie A, Champions League and Italian Cup titles.

The pair then moved to Spain where they helped Real Madrid claim the league and cup double before joining forces at Chelsea where they won a Premier League title in 2014-15.

Morais also had coaching spells at Esperance in Tunisia, Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia, Antalyaspor in Turkey and most recently AEK Athens in Greece.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Lovell

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