José Riga was unveiled as Blackpool’s new manager on Wednesday, and journalist Dirk Deferme, from his native Belgium, has praised the appointment.
The senior journalist at Belgian news channel VTM Nieuws, Deferme highlighted Riga’s positive reputation from across the country, especially for developing youngsters.
Deferme knows Riga from his time as Standard Liege manager, and spoke positively about the 56-year-old.
Dirk, what do you know of Blackpool’s new manager?
Well for a brief period he was coach of Standard Liege, which is where I know him from. He is known for his very up to date tactics and methods. After that he took a job in the Qatar neighbourhood, which was a surprise for us.
What qualities do you expect him to bring to Blackpool FC?
I hope he brings a lot of good things to Blackpool. I think he’ll bring the most modern methods that you can imagine. He has fresh ideas and is very much aware of what is going on around him in the world of football, so if that is what Blackpool wanted, then they’ve got it.
Last season José kept Charlton Athletic in The Championship, what did you make of the job he did?
It didn’t surprise me and I think he did a very good job at Charlton. It wasn’t an easy situation for him late in the season, so he did very well. I was surprised that somebody else got the job, Bob Peeters is also Belgian and he has the same profile as José Riga.
What style of play is José known for playing in Belgium?
He is usually a 4-4-2 kind of guy, but that all depends on the material and players Blackpool have available for selection. I’m sure he will base his tactics on the group of players he will be working with. It depends not only on the coach, but also the players and what they’re going to bring.
And also he has a reputation for developing youngsters?
Yes, he is very good with young players, if you work at Standard Liege then you have to have that quality and I think that’s why he got his job in the Middle East. He has a very positive reputation in Belgium from working at the very top with Standard Liege, and overall his time in management we have to consider a success.
Finally, will there be more interest in Blackpool FC from Belgium now?
There may well be, but all our attention is with the World Cup at the moment. We are not ready to prepare for next season, and we’ll decide if we’ll be looking more at Blackpool. But I wish José good luck at Blackpool.