JDT demote Mora back to JDT II, claim he was merely a ‘caretaker coach’

Malaysian giants Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) have demoted Mexican coach Benjamin Mora back to their development side, JDT II, and are expected to announce a new coach "very soon".

The Southern Tigers made an announcement on their Facebook page on Monday morning, confirming speculation that Mora would not be in the Larkin Stadium dugout when the Malaysia Super League (MSL) resumes on July 1.

Mora was believed to be on thin ice after the club failed to defend the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup and FA Cup and was then knocked out of the AFC Cup by Filipino side Ceres Negros. The club, however, enjoy a six-point lead in the MSL and is favoured to win a record fourth straight league title.

We will reveal the new JDT head coach very soon. In the meantime, Ismail Ibrahim and Raul Longhi will be taking charge of the team

- Alistair Edwards

“Mora will return to his original role as head coach of JDT II. He has been fantastic in moulding the young players for the first team,” read a statement by JDT sport director Alistair Edwards.

“Some of the young players we can see today include Fazly Mazlan, Dominic Tan, Afiq Fazail and Hadi Fayyadh. We will reveal the new JDT head coach very soon. In the meantime, Ismail Ibrahim and Raul Longhi will be taking charge of the team.”

He also thanked Mora for his services and believed he would mature into a better coach in the future.

Edwards also made a startling revelation that Mora was merely a caretaker coach for JDT after the departure of Argentine Mario Gomez days before the start of the 2017 season.

“We had previously opted to not make any rash decisions given that the club parted ways with Gomez just two days before the Charity Cup,” he said.

“With this, we needed a caretaker who was familiar with a system we already had in place and was also cost effective for the club. We needed someone who was already working for the club and understood the club’s philosophy. It came to no surprise that the person was Mora.”

Photo: Asiana.my