Fernandez proud to be back
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
New Marseille boss Jean Fernandez is proud to return to Stade Velodrome.New Marseille boss Jean Fernandez is proud to take charge at Stade Velodrome for his second spell at the helm of the French outfit.
Fernandez left Metz to return to l'OM on Tuesday after the two clubs reached an agreement over a suitable compensation package, and he will be looking to re-establish the side's position amongst the French elite after taking over from Philippe Troussier.
Despite his impending appointment taking some time Fernandez insists that he was always convinced that the move would materialise - and pleaded with the fans to give him time to turn the club around after they finished 24 points behind Ligue 1 champions Lyon.
"I was never really worried even if things dragged on, I knew Metz chairman Carlo Molinari would let me leave for l'OM," Fernandez told L'Equipe.
"It was not easy for him to let me leave, but he understood my desire to rejoin l'OM.
"I am happy, l'OM have always made me dream.
"I am proud and impatient to start, my priority is to make the team as competitive as possible.
"I know the Marseille microcosm after five years spent as a player and two in the technical staff.
"At Marseille the important thing is to have results, that is why I ask the fans to trust me and give me some time."
Fernandez had been hoping to keep hold of star man Benoit Pedretti (pictured), although he is now searching for viable alternatives with the French international set to move to Lyon.
OL supremo Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed the club's interest to l'OM chairman Pape Diouf, and is expected to make a bid in excess of Pedretti's é¼6 million release fee.
Fernandez admitted he was viewing Galatasaray star Franck Ribery as a potential replacement, and also confirmed his interest in Strasbourg striker Mamadou Niang.
"We have to find a successor to Pedretti, I have a great relationship with Ben but I have to adapt to the club's necessities," Fernandez continued.
"Ribery is a player I have appreciated a lot during six months at Metz, he is a good and spectacular player, the Marseille fans will appreciate him.
"We need a forward, I thought about Niang, I have worked with him at Metz.
"He is a good boy, both on the pitch and on a human level.
"He is powerful and quick but of course the financial aspect will make the difference."