Fluminense stand by coach after Libertadores exit

Rio de Janeiro, June 1 (IANS) Fluminense have guaranteed the future of coach Abel Braga despite the team’s shock elimination from the Copa Libertadores.

The Rio de Janeiro club, one of the pre-tournament favourites, had their chances dashed by a 1-2 aggregate defeat to the Paraguayan outfit in quarterfinals Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

“The Copa Libertadores is an important project but we aren’t going to say the season has been a lost cause just because of our elimination. Of course it’s a tournament we want to win. But our objective is also to win the Copa do Brasil and the Brazilian championship for a fifth time. We are a little shaken but I have spoken to Abel and he is motivated to return to the Libertadores,” Fluminense executive director Rodrigo Caetano said Friday.

While he gave his backing to the coach, Caetano was less certain about retaining all of Tricolour’s players. He said the club will look to bolster its squad when the mid-season transfer window opens June 20.

“I can’t say for sure that we are going to keep all of our players, like we did last year. Our financial situation is not the same as it was. But we are looking at the market and have spoken about weakness in our squad,” Caetano said.

Fluminense’s next match is in Macae Sunday against newly promoted Criciuma in Brazil’s Serie A championship.

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