12/11/2018 4:31:47 PM

A big challenge, says new Al Arabi coach Hallgrimsson

A big challenge, says new Al Arabi coach Hallgrimsson

Qatar, Doha: New Al Arabi coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said he was hoping for a long term project as he was officially unveiled as the coach of Qatar Stars League club side in Doha on Tuesday.

Hallgrimsson, who along with Lars Lagerbäck, famously led Iceland to the quarterfinals of the Euro 2016, was taking over his first job since leaving the Iceland post.

"This is a big, big challenge, a big club, that had historical success in the past and they would like to have that past again.

"They know that this is not an instant job, this is not buying success for today, this is a long-term project to build up success for the future," he said.

Hallgrimsson said he had been in talks with German and Major League Soccer sides before being approached by Al Arabi.

"I had some opportunities, some discussions with clubs but nothing that was more interesting than this one," said the 51-year-old, who signed a one-and-half-year contract.

Seven-time champions Al Arabi, whose last title was way back in 1997, are currently mid-table in the 12-team Qatar Stars League at the halfway stage.

Hallgrimsson said he wanted the club to give him time to improve the side.

"A lot of people have warned me that this is a hot seat so hopefully a guy from Iceland can cool it a little. All the things from the president, from the club, the conversations, is that they will support me and I feel that they really mean it. Sacking coaches two times a year doesn't get you anywhere."

Arabi are on the ascendancy having won their last two matches, including an impressive 3-0 victory against Umm Salal and Hallgrimsson will have time to mould the side according to his plans as the league will now take a break for the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE and will restart only in February.

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