Domingos Paciência has been confirmed as Sporting Clube de Portugal coach after agreeing terms on a two-year deal and is adamant he will return the Lisbon-based team to the top of the Portuguese standings.
The 42-year-old, who takes over from caretaker José Couceiro – the February replacement for Paulo Sérgio – arrives from SC Braga, whom he guided to last week's UEFA Europa League final. "I'm very involved in this project," Paciência told the press at the Estádio José Alvalade. "
I'm here to win. We are going to fight for first place. I am aware that this is a great challenge for me. It's a huge step in my career and one I don't want to miss."
The former FC Porto and Portugal striker enjoyed two standout seasons at Braga, following promising beginnings as coach of UD Leiria and A. Académica de Coimbra. In his first campaign with the Arsenalistas, he led them to a best ever runners-up finish in the Portuguese Liga in 2009/10 before masterminding this term's European run which ended in a 1-0 defeat by Porto in Dublin.
Without a trophy for three years – when they lifted the Portuguese Cup and Super Cup – Sporting, who have not won the Liga title since 2002, will compete in the UEFA Europa League play-offs next season following their third-place finish in the league. That spot was secured at the expense of Braga thanks to a 1-0 away win against the Minho-based outfit on the last day of the campaign.
"I am aware of my responsibilities and believe we can do better than last season, which is why we are here," Paciência added. "We are going to create better conditions to win because I believe in what we are doing."