Bursaspor coach Sağlam bids emotional farewell

Bursaspor coach Sağlam bids emotional farewell

Bursaspor coach Sağlam bids emotional farewell

Coach Ertuğrul Sağlam has bid an emotional farewell to his team and fans after announcing that he is stepping down as the Bursaspor manager. AA photo

Bursaspor coach Ertuğrul Sağlam announced his resignation yesterday, putting an end to a four-year term at the 2009-2010 Turkish league champion club.

“I might have made mistakes, but I do not think that anyone will say, ‘Caoch Sağlam has represented us badly.’ All I tried to do was improve the team on an international stage,” Sağlam said at a press conference in the northwestern province of Bursa.

Sağlam was the name behind one of the biggest success stories in Turkish football in the 2009-2010 season. Although Bursaspor, a team rooted in the country’s automotive and textile industry capital of Bursa, was considered a mid-table candidate at the beginning of the season, Ertuğrul Sağlam and his players carried the team to a success beyond all expectations, making it only the fifth team to clinch Turkish league title. It was also the first title won by a non-Istanbul team since 1984.

Surprising decision
The team has not clinched another title since, finishing third in the next season and eighth last year. The team currently sits in the sixth spot of the Spor Toto Super League, four points behind second place holder Beşiktaş, hence, Sağlam’s decision came as a surprise to many fans.

“This is not a decision taken right after the Istanbul BB loss,” Sağlam told reporters, referring to the 4-1 loss over the weekend.

“There have been an apparent lack of excitement and a loss of trust,” the experienced coach said. “I have made a decision not to hurt the club anymore.”

Bursaspor chairman İbrahim Yazıcı said yesterday in a written statement that Sağlam’s decision to quit “saddened me deeply just like any other Bursaspor fan.”