Chinese Super League

Nothing to see here: Shanghai Shenhua boss plays down Gus Poyet exit reports after latest Chinese Super League defeat

Guizhou Zhicheng hand Carlos Tevez’s side a third defeat in five domestic outings thanks to two stoppage time goals from new Spanish striker Ruben Castro

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 4:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 9:15pm

Gus Poyet’s admission he had “reached my limit” after Shanghai Shenhua’s 3-0 home defeat by Guizhou Zhicheng that raised doubts over the future of the Uruguayan coach with at the Chinese Super League strugglers has been taken out of context, according to president Wu Xiaohui.

A pair of stoppage time goals from Guizhou’s new veteran Spanish striker Ruben Castro condemned Shenhua to their third defeat in five Super League games on Wednesday, leading to ugly scenes after the final whistle at Hongkou Stadium as midfielder Cao Yunding clashed with fans and had to be restrained by captain Giovanni Moreno.

The pressure and tension continued after the match as Poyet appeared to suggest his time with Shenhua, who he joined at the end of last season as a replacement for now Guizhou boss Gregorio Manzano, was nearing an end.

“Everything has its limit. I’ve tried my best, but there are some things that I shouldn’t take the blame for, so I don’t want to say anymore, because if I do so, I will have trouble,” said Poyet.

“Please don’t ask me any question, please respect me as a professional coach and a former player.

“Everyone has his limits, I’ve reached my limits, I don’t want to say anymore.”

But, following a discussion with president Wu, the Shanghai chief came out in support of Poyet despite the defeat leaving 11th-placed Shenhua with just six wins from 20 games this season.

“There is no problem. Poyet found it hard to understand many things as the performance of the players didn’t reach his expectation. We also should have been given two penalties,” said Wu.

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“Now after the talk, everything is fine, and we will support him as always and the team will adjust as soon as possible and we will try to do well in the cup semi-finals.”

Shanghai-born Cao is set to face a suspension over his post-match actions, which included refusing to shake hands with the match officials and forced police to intervene as the home support reacted to the latest defeat for the side who signed Argentinean Carlos Tevez at the start of the season.

Tevez was not named in the squad to face Guizhou having played the full 90 minutes in the weekend’s 1-1 draw with Changchun Yatai.

Watch: Shanghai Shenhua 0-3 Guizhou Zhicheng highlights

Shenhua face cross-town rivals Shanghai Shenxin in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, with the first leg taking place at Hongkou Stadium later this month.

Meanwhile, a proposal has emerged that will further reduce the number of foreign players in a Super League squad from five to four, while officials are also looking at addressing the often abused rule regarding the inclusion of players aged under 23 for the 2018 season.

It’s not about the money for new Guizhou Zhicheng coach Gregorio Manzano, but US$8.8 million certainly helps

The Chinese Football Association has sent a letter to clubs asking for their feedback on the latest round of changes to squad rules, which would see clubs be able to have a total of six foreign players on their books but only able to register four.

The remaining two would be consigned to the reserve league, as they would also not be eligible for cup games, but could replace another overseas player in the squad during the summer transfer window.

At the moment, clubs can register up to five foreign players in their overall squad including one from another Asian nation, but only name three for each match.

Under the new rules, that pool of players would be reduced to three, effectively giving another opportunity for a Chinese player to feature.

Officials are also seeking to introduce rules that will stop coaches starting the required under-23 player in a game and then withdrawing the youngster often after less than 20 minutes of the first half.