Albania reconfirms Panucci for Euro 2020 qualifiers

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 22, 2018 09:58

Albania reconfirms Panucci for Euro 2020 qualifiers

TIRANA, Nov. 22 – Albania’s football association has confirmed Christian Panucci will be given another chance as Albania coach and lead the Red & Black through the Euro 2020 qualifiers despite the national side’s poor track record under the Italian’s lead during the past one and a half years.

The confirmation comes after Albania closed their Nations League campaign with a humiliating 4-0 home loss against Scotland but claimed a hard-earned win in a friendly against Wales this week that somehow relieved pressure on under-fire Panucci following a series of poor performances, having lost eight out of 14 games since taking over in mid-2017.

Albania's football association president Armand Duka says firing Panucci few months before the Euro qualifiers would be a hasty decision and luxury a modest national side such as Albania cannot afford.

"It is not time for hasty decisions. Panucci has his pros and cons. We can't afford the luxury of changing coaches at a time when the Euro qualifiers start next March. We remain a modest team and can do better if everybody supports the coach and the staff for the Euro qualifiers," Duka, who has been in charge of Albania’s football association for the past sixteen years, has told a local TV.

The head of Albania’s football association says the national sides looks consolidated now and has gained key players such as Ardian Ismajli and Myrto Uzuni, two Croatia top league players, in tests during the past few games.

Panucci, who was hired on a two-and-a-half year €280,000 contract, had been set a Euro 2020 qualification target whose first opportunity he missed with Albania finishing bottom in League C Group 1. Firing him before his contracts ends in November 2019, would also have financial consequences for the football association.

The upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers are set to begin in March 2019 after ten groups are drawn in early December 2018.

 

Also read:  Morale-boosting win against Wales saves Panucci from early Albania departure

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 22, 2018 09:58