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Tuesday, 16 December 2014 14:45

Exclusive interview with St. Etienne manager Mukremin

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Today LIGTV brings you a world exclusive interview with Mukremin, manager of PEN Premier League Champions St. Etienne. After a long trip to the Loire region of Central France we were greeted by officials of St. Etienne, they gave us a small trip to see some of its historical churches and other places of interest. We were told that Mukremin will receive us after today's training. 
Finally we arrived at the stadium and we had a chance to take a look at the stadium, the training complex and the intense training of that day. Before we sat down with Mukremin to try and find out what drives this excellent manager.
Photo: In the car back to the station with Mukremin
LIGTV: First of all, we would like to thank you for your time. We are aware that you are on a tight schedule, especially with the new season kicking off this week. We appreciate your effort, thank you very much Mr. Mukremin.
Muk: You're welcome, I want to thank you for doing this interview. I rarely give interviews, I tend to stay in the back ground and leave the other non-football related things to my assistants and they seem to do a great job. But today we made an exception.
LIGTV: Of course, we really appreciate it. Mr Mukremin, welcome. So let's start, we have been following St. Etienne for some time now. You've had a great success last season by winning the Premiership League title. At first you had a difficult task, your sudden departure from Fenerbahce after being mixed up with match fixing and afterwards being banned from International football. What happened after that and how did you end up here?
Muk: It was a tough road that I took, some say there is no such thing as destiny but I believe in it. There is a reason in all the things happening around us, I left with a broken heart from Turkey and i don't really want to get into the alleged accusations about my former club. Lucky for me I knew people in Holland, I had a chance to take over after the previous manager was sacked from Vitesse. We did a good job in Vitesse, mid-season I was already being  approached by some clubs including St. Etienne. I told them to meet at the end of the season, which we did and I signed an open contract. First year we became champions in a very very tough league, our success really began after the winter stop. Second part of the competition we steadily climbed the ladder and won. We have to thank our opponents for it too, for if they succeeded in winning we would end up being second. It was a very close call. 
LIGTV: It must felt good that after all the incidents, to start freshly in a new team and win the biggest price in your first year. The title race itself was of course amazing, it was decided in the last week of the competition. The fans have criticized you for your drastic changes you made in the team, if we look at the list now we see a total of 11 Turkish players. What can you tell us about the squad?
Muk: Yes, correct. (laughs). The Turkish players like to work with me, and with the economic situation of the club it's not a bad idea to have players with low wages.  One of my star players, Burak Yilmaz. We had to let him go, he refused to alter his contract so we decided that its best for the club and for the players to stop our work together. He was the only one with a big salary at that moment. Another example is Fellaini, we had some good offers for him and he too was a big earner so we decided to sell him and let him go. In our search for a replacement for Burak, we signed a very good player, Asamoah Gyan. Of course I have been bombarded too with e-mails, telephone calls etc. Selling Emenike was one of the most tough decisions I had to take, i still think about it but we have to be patient with this new team. I believe in the boys, i believe we have a good chance this year. 
LIGTV: Ahh yes, the Fellaini issue. We have read and heard rumors about his departure, supposedly he and you got into a fight last season. He made some accusations against you, what would you like to say about that incident?
Muk: (grins) I knew this would be asked, there isn't much to say really. He didn't fit into my new plans, and the offer was really an offer the board and me couldn't refuse (laughs). So that's all, I wish him the best of lucks in his career at Fiorentina.   
LIGTV: Oke, that's fair enough for us. What are your expectations this for this season, what can the fans expect? And is there anything you would like to share with us and the rest of the world.
Muk: The fans should be prepared for a sensational season, I promise there will be a lot of goals because for me winning 4-3 is better than 1-0. Our focus will be fast counter-attacking football which is a great thing to see for the people watching the game. Our new players are ready for it. I also want to send my regards to Wheresmerk, Chicken and the other managers from the league. Thanks to all involved in this interview, thank you for your time. 
LIGTV: We wish you the very best, and hope to see you ending on top this year too. Thank you very much, our next interview will be with one of your players Asamoah Gyan. That's it for today, thank you all for watching. 
Read 1331 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 15:19