|By Khalis Rifhan
Malaysian Super League (MSL) strugglers T-Team have decided to part ways with controversial coach Peter Butler and appointed academy coach Eduardo Almeida as their new head coach.
The Titans' CEO Abdul Rasid Jusoh stated that the management have held talks with 46-year-old Butler and both parties agreed to prematurely end the Englishman's contract.
According to Rasid, Almeida will be in charge of their remaining five MSL matches and will be assisted by Che Ku Marzuki Mohd Noor, who has been helming the team temporarily since Butler was given a 30-day rest by the club a month ago.
“This decision was made as our squad is currently in a dangerous position [battling relegation] and we are forced to do all we can to ensure this squad continues to play in the Super League next season, and we believe that Eduardo Almeida is able to save this team," Sinar Harian reported Rasid as saying.
Rasid added that the next match against star-studded Johor Darul Takzim on May 17 was very crucial for T-Team as it will be a turning point as to whether they will be able to stay in the top flight, or be relegated to the second-tier Premier League.
T-Team is currently 11th in the twelve-team league, and are three points adrift from safety with only five matches left to play before the end of the season.
The Titans last tasted victory on April 20 in a 2-0 win over Perak FA at home and have since lost their last four matches, conceding nine goals during that run.
Survival is still on the cards for them as they will be travelling to Petaling Jaya on June 21 to face 10th-placed Felda United, before hosting bottom side Negeri Sembilan the week after.
But they face a challenging final two matches as they will be taking on Selangor FA at the Shah Alam Stadium on July 2, and will be up against Terengganu four days later at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.
Attempts to contact Butler have been futile and the feisty coach has yet to post his thoughts on the matter on Twitter, on which the former West Ham United mdifielder is usually active.