Melbourne Victory have announced the appointment of Carlos Salvachua as head coach until the end of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season.
Salvachua has served as Victory assistant coach to both Kevin Muscat and the recently departed Marco Kurz since the beginning of the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League campaign.
The UEFA Pro licence holder takes the reins at Victory with a wealth of foreign managerial experience under his belt, formerly working with Spanish outfits Real Valladolid CF, Villarreal CF, CD Guadalajara and Real Madrid’s academy for six years.
As for what the Victory faithful can expect from a Salvachua-led side, the Spanish coach has ensured the fans no player is safe as he looks to find an 11 capable of being ‘protagonists’ on the pitch.
“The first 11 is open for all the squad for me; that’s the message I send to all the players, it’s open,” Salvachua said in his first press conference as Victory boss.
“It’s not dependant on age or experience, it’s dependant on performance every day in the training.
“Firstly, I need to adapt to the players that we have and adapt to the philosophy of the club.
“This club is important in Australia and always try to get an attacking style, an attacking performance and an entertaining style for the members.
“This is what I trust in this squad in the players, I think that we can do it.
“Yes it’s a challenge but it’s a challenge for everyone; for the club, for me, for the players, for all the fans that we want to always to finish in the best position in the league.
“I know the players, I know my ideas and the ideas of the club, but for sure we have to be protagonists during the game, we have to think more about our team and try to perform well every week and try to play the next game like the last game.”
Melbourne Victory Chairman Anthony Di Pietro says the decision to replace Kurz with Salvachua was difficult but necessary, to ensure the club returned to the heights expected of them year in, year out.
“We believe given our performances and results to date, now is the time to act,” Di Pietro said in a club press conference on Wednesday morning.
“As such we have appointed Carlos Salvachua as head coach for the remainder of the A-League season.
“Carlos has more than 20 years of coaching experience in Spain at clubs including Real Madrid, Villarreal and Guadalajara.
“Carlos is highly respected at this club by our players and staff and he understands the expectations of our members and fans.”
In terms of Salvachua’s future beyond the 2019/20 season, Di Pietro confirmed the search for a permanent head coach would not stop at his name, with the club preferring to assess all the available options in the coming months as Salvachua gets to work on salvaging Victory’s current season.
“With respect to recruitment of a head coach beyond this season, we will take our time and go through a thorough process,” Di Pietro said.
“But our immediate focus is to support Carlos and our team as they prepare for this Friday night’s important clash against Adelaide.
“We have expectations to be fighting for trophies in every competition we play and that hasn’t changed.
“We want to be up there to challenge, and we believe the team can do it.”