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Li Ming: We’re being careful in selecting a new manager

Pre-season expectations for Dalian Aerbin were extremely high, but they’ve started off with two losses in two matches and a lot of head scratching up north. Li Ming, the Aerbin GM, was forced to become the team’s manager weeks before the season after Xu Hong was barred from football for five years. Li, without any prior experience, has struggled, but things are still early. Below is a brief interview he gave to Chinese internet portal, Sohu.

After this morning’s practice, what do you think of your side’s conditioning?

Our conditioning is beginning to recover, we’re going to be unsinkable. Previously, the coaching change and technical tactics definitely had an influence on the players, and that was the cause of our bad first two performances.

When are you preparing to play Utaka and Hoarau up front together?

At first, we needed to keep things stable and consistent, if there were too many changes, the players would feel like strangers, changes need to be done gradually and in an orderly procedure, it takes time.  

You previously said you wanted to set up team tactics around Hoarau, how is that going?

Hoarau’s height is a great asset, plus he’s able to control the ball decently. When he’s out there, our attack has a greater immediacy to it.

When will a decision be made about Aerbin’s next manager?

When picking a manager, it requires a certain amount of understand, it’s not an easy process. So far we’ve yet to find a very good option, we’ve had a lot of agents pushing suggestions, but there hasn’t been a good fit yet.

Some Dalian Shide players weren’t allowed to join Aerbin, this has to have an influence on resting players, does that issue still exist?

It’s definitely still an issue, there’s no reason to repeat this. All we can do is focus internally and do what we can, we had some plans to cover certain positions and switch players, but now there aren’t enough people in those spots. To play different formations based on the players. Its possible the coaches we were most interested in currently have jobs and so couldn’t come. Hastily bringing someone in is bad for the players, so the boss and I are trying to be very careful about this problem.

The national team players have returned, what do you think of their condition.

Li: They’re in great shape, excited after the win and ready to work.  

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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