Monday Jan 27, 2020. 14:00
Experienced coach Noureddine Saadi has explained that Algerian club JS Kabylie need to be patient in their current project, and talk of challenging for this season’s CAF Champions League was premature.
JSK came into the group stage of this season’s continental competition confident that they could translate their rejuvenation on the domestic front to African club football. Chairman Cherif Mellal even claimed that they could challenge for the trophy.
However, this past weekend the Yellow-Greens were humbled 4-1 by DR Congo’s AS Vita in Kinshasa, a result which has mathematically eliminated them from quarterfinal contention.
Despite this disappointment, Saadi insists that JSK are on the right track but need more time to build up to a level where they can challenge the continent’s top teams.
“Honestly, I am not alarmed. As I said before, if we judge JSK in the Champions League, that means that we are greedy,” the veteran tactician told Le Buteur.
“I have already criticised president Mellal, who often speaks from the heart. The course is positive, but people must understand that it is impossible to win the Champions League or reach the final after two years of work. It’s downright impractical.”
Saadi added, “To win a Champions League, it would take colossal work. It is not in two years that you can compete with the leaders of African football.
“And then people suddenly forgot about the recent past. You can’t compare the newborn to the adult. I think that restoring the old JSK in two years is impossible and unimaginable, especially on the African level.”
The Algerian club were not aided by the decision to part ways with coach Hubert Velud earlier in the month.
“I would say now was not the time to split up with a coach,” explained Saadi. “Each technician wants to go to the end of his project and end the season. If he was fired from the results, I would say that the management had not been right, if it is for something else, I do not know.”
JSK will wrap up their group stage campaign with a clash at home to reigning African champions Esperance de Tunis this coming weekend.