Former Ferguson and Mourinho Assistants Join Fulham and Middlesbrough as Head Coaches

Former Manchester United assistant coach Rene Maulensteen has joined Martin Jol at Fulham as head coach as Middlesbrough also confirmed the appointment of ex-Jose Mourinho assistant Aitor Karanka as their new head coach on Wednesday.

Ex-Real Madrid defender, Karanka, 40, takes over the rein at the Riverside Stadium outfit from Tony Mowbray who left the club in October.

The Vitoria-born Karanka’s new job as Middlesbrough boss presents him his first opportunity in club management since serving as Mourinho’s assistant at the Bernebeu from 2010 to 2013.

Rene Maulensteen and Sir Alex Ferguson at Craven Cottage.
Rene Maulensteen and Sir Alex Ferguson at Craven Cottage.

“It is a very important day for me. It’s my first job and it’s the best thing I can do to find a club that feels like a family with big facilities, stadium and supporters,” the former Athletic Bilbao and Colorado Rapids defender said.

The new Middlesbrough coach believes the time is right to step out of ‘The Special One’s’ shadow after agreeing a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Championship side.

“It’s my time. I have been three years with Jose Mourinho and he was supporting me every day and I learned along with him and his staff and I think I am ready to start.

“You can learn everything from him on the pitch and off the pitch and in the training room, he’s great, he’s the one.” he added.

Aitor Karanka Becomes a Head Coach for the First Time.
Aitor Karanka Becomes a Head Coach for the First Time.

Fulham FC also announced the appointment of Maulensteen, who worked alongside Sir Alex Ferguson at United for over a decade during a second spell at Old Trafford, as head coach.

“I was impressed by the vision of Shahid Khan (Fulham American owner) and Alistair Mackintosh. I’ve spent many hours talking with Martin Joland we share a vision of how football should be played and how players should be developed. It’s our job to make sure we can bring this vision to life on the pitch for the fans,” Maulensteeen said.

The new Fulham head coach left United last summer after David Moyes opted to resume the Premier League champions’ job with his back room staff from Everton.

He went on to have a short spell with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala before its management decided to slash its management cost, which led to his exit.

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