Mourinho's former assistant takes charge of DTLA

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Ricardo Formosinho, former assistant to Italy's Series A champions' coach Jose Mourinho, has taken charge of V-League club Dong Tam Long An (DTLA).

The Portuguese tactician signed a contract with the Mekong Delta club on Monday to work till the end of the 2010 season.

The 2005-06 V-League champions took action following the club's two consecutive defeats: to Hai Phong Cement in an away fifth-round match and to Thanh Hoa at home in the sixth-round game on Sunday.

Vietnam's national football team head coach Henrique Calisto had led DTLA to two consecutive titles, but since he took charge of the national team, the Mekong Delta club has lost its powerhouse status.

Last year, another Portuguese coach Jose Luis came to the Mekong Delta club in the first half of the season, but DTLA finished 10th out of 14 teams.

This year, DTLA had two consecutive ties in the first and second round, and Luis fell sick and had to rest.

Assistant coach Tran Cong Minh took over the reins and earned the club two consecutive wins in the third and fourth rounds.

However, several of the team's best players have suffered injuries and didn't have enough good players in the fifth and sixth rounds, leading to the two latest losses.

After round four, Luis had a meeting with the club managers and then told his players that he would go home to Portugal for a few months for medical treatment.

DTLA are pinning their hopes on Luis's compatriot Ricardo Formosinho. 53-year-old Formosinho began to work as a coach at SC Olhanense in Portugal's second-tier league in the 1990-1991 season.

He has coached several other clubs but his major assignment was in the 2003-04 season when he was assistant to Jose Mourinho at FC Porto when the club won a double, Europe's Champions League and Portugal's top-tier league Liga Sagres titles.

In 2008, Formosinho worked as an observer for Spain's Real Madrid. His job was to carefully study the club's rivals and provide information to the club's management.

Asked why he chose to come to work for a V-League club, Formosinho said:, "I've had lots of information about Vietnamese football before I agreed to work for DTLA.

"V-League is not a leading league in the world, but it is a place that has attracted lots of people and has the potential for growth."

Formosinho said his friend Calisto has been successful in Vietnam and he wants to give it a try himself.

Talking about DTLA, Formosinho said the club has a few good players but there's much more to do in terms of physical, technical and strategic matters in order to strengthen the team.

DTLA needs to take on some excellent players if it wants to be among the top teams in the league, he said.

Formosinho said he believes he will be successful at the Mekong Delta club.

With Formosinho taking charge, Tran Cong Minh will now become assistant coach again.

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