Wray: Paolo will galvanise Cats
Eintracht Frankfurt coach Armin Veh has set his sights on
qualifying for Europe next season after his side beat Greuther
Furth 3-2 on Sunday.
That win lifted the Eagles into joint fourth place, behind
Schalke only on goal difference, and three points ahead of
A top-six finish would be good enough for a place in the Europa
League next season and Veh, who signed a new contract extension
last week, has made that his side’s new objective.
“We have reached our goal for the season today by moving onto 42
points and now we want to see if we can finish in the top six to
qualify for Europe,” he said.
“If we want to have the chance to be in Europe, then this was a
Should Frankfurt qualify for Europe, Veh will have funds to
strengthen his squad after being given assurances by club president
The availability of money for new players was one of the reasons
why Veh decided to extend his contract by a year last week and
ignore the overtures from league rivals Schalke.
“We have a decent team, but we need to strengthen it,” he told
“Heribert Bruchhagen and the board have given us assurances that
we can buy one or two new players.
“I don’t want to demand things which are not possible, but I
think it’s necessary that Frankfurt strengthen the squad and
everybody sees it the same way.”
Former Swindon chairman Jeremy Wray also described David
Miliband’s decision to quit his posts with Sunderland in response
to Di Canio’s appointment as a “sad knee-jerk response”.
Former foreign secretary Miliband immediately resigned as
Sunderland’s vice-chairman and non-executive director after Di
Canio was named Martin O’Neill’s successor on Sunday night, citing
the Italian’s “past political statements”.
Di Canio has admitted to having fascist leanings, telling
Italian news agency ANSA in 2005: “I am a fascist, not a
Wray, who appointed the 44-year-old as Town boss in May 2011,
does not think the outspoken views will conflict with Di Canio’s
attempts to keep Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League.
He told BBC Radio Five: “It is a sad knee-jerk response. I doubt
David Miliband has ever met Paolo Di Canio. I’ve known him for two
years. I don’t think politics was ever discussed once.
“Paolo will have many strong views. He probably has a strong
view on whether Italy should be in the Euro, gay marriage or the
endangered Siberian tiger, but I doubt if it’s really relevant to
keeping Sunderland in the Premiership.
“I think anybody’s political views and their private views – as
long they’re private and how they conduct themselves away from
their job – are pretty irrelevant.
“Nothing of that was ever discussed during his time at Swindon.
He was focused full on 24 hours on success for us and that’s what
he’ll do for Sunderland.”
Sunderland dismissed O’Neill on Saturday evening following the
club’s 1-0 home defeat against league leaders Manchester
That result left the Black Cats without a win in eight games and
just a point clear of the relegation zone.
With seven games remaining, Di Canio faces a fight to keep
Sunderland in the top flight but Wray believes the former West Ham,
Lazio and Celtic striker will be a roaring success on Wearside.
“He will galvanise the team. He is passionate; he eats, sleeps
and drinks it. He is full on 24 hours a day and will be focused on
the last seven games of the season.
“The Sunderland fans who are nervous now and are doubting the
appointment should have no fears and trust what I saw in him is
what (Sunderland chairman) Ellis Short will have seen in him as
someone who is committed to the job.”
Wray added: “There was no doubt that when he was at Swindon he
was cutting his teeth in management, but I can assure you I think
he’s ready for the step up.
“He’s learnt a lot, he’s very intelligent, he’s a quick learner
and he’s his own biggest critic.
“He’ll have seen where he’s gone wrong in the past and I think
it’s a really astute appointment.”