Less than 24 hours after dismissing coach Mario Carrillo, Pumas UNAM sporting vice president Alberto Garcia-Aspe addressed the media about the club’s decision. Carrillo is the second technical director Pumas has released this season. There are still two game days left in the Apertura 2012.
The main question the media had from the initial release was, “was it an error to hire Carrillo in the first place?”
“It could be, but now he is gone,” Garcia-Aspe answered the anticipated question. “Despite of it all, the team is within playoff qualification. We will try to reach that in the final two games left. Which means that this Friday’s game against Jaguares (de Chiapas FC) is very important to us.”
Garcia-Aspe went on to give a few words about Carrillo and the job he did at Ciudad Universitaria.
“He was calm, and appreciated the time spent here,” Garcia-Aspe said about Carrillo. “He knew the risks of taking the job. He made his decisions as coach, and as for me, I never imposed players or lineups on him. There were other off-field items that did influence our decision but we will not cover those.”
Pumas is one of Mexico’s most popular teams, with a fan base that goes beyond Mexico City. The team has produced many of Mexico’s greatest players, including five-time Spanish league goal scoring champion Hugo Sanchez. The fans are rabid and demand more of the institution.
While it was Carrillo who was dismissed this week, the fans are also calling for Garcia-Aspe’s removal. The sporting vice president stated that he is aware of and that the fans are entitled to their opinion, however, he will not resign from his post. He also stated that he will present an analysis report to University President Jorge Borja at the end of the season.
“I don’t know what President Borja will decide,” Garcia-Aspe said. “But our idea is to give good results.”
The vice president did not doubt that the process will take some time. With two game days left, he said the team will look for positive results.
“We’ve only been at this new process for five months,” concluded Garcia-Aspe. “Sometimes a process is quick, other times it’s slow. Qualifying for a playoff spot is our main goal. It’s still within reach, which means we cannot call this season a failure yet.”
Pumas is scheduled to visit Jaguares next week and ends the Apertura 2012 season hosting Atlante FC. Pumas, as well as Atlante, Club Santos Laguna, and Chivas de Guadalajara are in a four-way tie for 8th place on the league table, the final berth that makes the playoffs.