AFC quarter-final victory offers Falopa the chance to escape Morgan’s shadow

The Brazilian coach, constantly hounded regarding the influence of ex-coach Morgan at his club, may have the chance to silence his critics and stand in his own breath...

Marcos Falopa is well in the mood to snap and throw tantrums the next time Trevor Morgan’s name is mentioned by anyone. The British ex-coach’s name seems to be hallowed at the club he cut-ties with, for personal reasons, at the end of last season and it seems to be a cause of growing concern for the Brazilian coach.

Morgan’s record, which shines through after guiding his club undefeated to the quarter-finals of the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Cup  and an impressive haul of eight trophies in three-years is a constant source of comparison with present coach Falopa, causing a lot of uneasiness in the Brazilian’s ranks.

On the eve of the first leg of the quater-final against Indonesian champs Semen Padang, the first of many important matches Falopa will face, he is assigned with the task of elevating his team to the next level.

Falopa’s immediate task is to bring the dressing room to harmony. With many players quietly criticizing and ridiculing even his training methods. The reason for this is that the Red and Golds’ players have an inherent love for Morgan’s training routines and don’t identify with the change Falopa has brought in too well.

So, Tuesday’s match will more of Falopa breaking ground and stepping clear of Morgan’s shadow. “Morgan did a good job. I respect him and what he has achieved. But the reality is that we have another job on our hands and our target is to do much better,” tersely opined Falopa in the pre-match presser.

“My style of working is different to Morgan’s. In my system, it’s important for players to be flexible. Joaquim (Abranches) can play both in midfield hole and as a striker. We need players who can play in different positions,” added the coach, offering insights on his style of play.

The upcoming quarter-final is a test of sorts then for Falopa and his philosophy. If he wins all, queries and criticisms could be silenced for good and help him shake the Morgan rearks off, his back. If he loses, he should gear up to face Morgan’s name revered again.    

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