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Barnsley: Why new boss Jose Morais can keep Reds up

Jose Morais, in white, with Jose Mourinho in their Chelsea days
Jose Morais, in white, with Jose Mourinho in their Chelsea days

Chief executive Gauthier Ganaye hopes new boss Jose Morais can inspire Barnsley to stay up this season.

The Reds announced their new appointment on Friday to replace Paul Heckingbottom.

Gauthier Ganaye

Gauthier Ganaye

Morais was a surprise pick with well-known names such as Mick McCarthy, Simon Grayson and Gary Bowyer linked with the role.

However, the Portuguese coach has a wealth of experience behind him as Jose Mourinho’s number two.

Ganaye told local radio: “We have done things properly, Jose has an incredible CV.

“He’s been at some of the biggest clubs in the world and he has been successful.

“He has worked alongside one of the most successful managers of all time.

“When we met him, he really impressed us. He’s really inspirational.

“He’s very positive and this is what we need at the moment, positivity.

“We need someone who believes this team is able to stay up. I believe it and he believes it so I believe he will makes the players believe they are good enough to stay in this league.”

Morais met the squad on Friday and took training for the first time before watching the under-23s’ game in the afternoon.

Without a weekend game, the new man was able to spend some time getting to know his players ahead of his first fixture in charge tomorrow night.

In the club’s Championship survival battle it does not get much bigger than a relegation six-pointer against Burton Albion.

Hopefully the Reds faithful can get behind the new boss when the Brewers come to town.

He needs to hit the ground running, with Birmingham City and Hull City - two teams also around the drop - waiting after Burton.

Morais told the club website: “I see a club with potential to grow, a club with potential to make an impact in their region with people who are proud to be from here.

“If I can say something really deep, I am from the north of Portugal and I have a similar feeling now about a town that wants to grow, that wants to make an impact and wants to reveal something to the world.

“I know it’s a competitive league. I know how English football works.

“We played several times against lower-league teams while at Chelsea and I could see their fight and desire.

“I know all about the ambition of all the clubs in the Championship and I know all about the interest across the world in the Championship. This, especially, has been raised in recent years.

“It became more and more competitive, with probably 10 clubs that have the possibility of making the play-offs for the promotion to the Premier League.

“This makes it a challenging league, with some quality young players. It’s a league where you can have quality and promote it.”

Reds fans can expect a well-travelled coach who has honed his craft under Mourinho.

Mourinho’s former right-hand man was part of the coaching staff which saw Inter Milan land their historic Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble in 2009/10.

The pair also enjoyed success at Real Madrid, winning La Liga and the Copa Del Rey before Morais joined Mourinho during his second spell at Chelsea.

His own coaching credentials include Tunisia’s Esperance, Saudi side Al-Shabab, Turkey’s Antalyaspor and Greece’s AEK Athens.

Morais had an impressive win percentage of over 70 at both Esperance and Al-Shabab. However, in his last two jobs he has won just 12 games in 42.

The new boss also speaks seven languages, which helps make foreign players more at home in the dressing room.

Barnsley were on the hunt for a new man to steer their sinking ship when former boss Heckingbottom left for bitter Yorkshire rivals Leeds United earlier this month, just days after it was announced he’s signed a new Reds deal.

Ganaye revealed the club received more than 100 applicants, with a vast majority being genuine candidates.

St Mirren boss Jack Ross was in the running to link up with former protégé Stevie Mallan at Oakwell. After talks with the Reds top brass, he decided to stay at the Scottish Championship leaders.

The Reds were also rebuffed in their approach to talk to Wycombe Wanderers’ Gareth Ainsworth, before Charlton’s Karl Robinson ruled himself out of contention.

The club also talked to Swansea under-23 coach Cameron Toshack, as well as a number of other candidates, before going with Morais’ experience.

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