Sheffield United-linked manager Alexander Blessin named coach of year in Belgium after transforming Oostende's fortunes

Alexander Blessin, the German manager previously linked with the vacant Sheffield United job, has been named the Belgian coach of the season after taking KV Oostende from relegation candidates to the brink of Europe.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 11:16 am

Although Oostende ultimately fell short of an European place in the Belgian play-offs, Blessin has attracted rave reviews – and caught the eye of United – with his work there in his first season in charge.

Oostende were second bottom of the table when the season was cancelled because of the Covid-19 crisis in 2019/20, before former RB Leipzig youth coach Blessin arrived. He was originally United’s top target to replace Chris Wilder, before any approach became bogged down in red tape following Brexit.

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“First of all, I must dedicate this award to my family,” Blessin said after winning the award last night.

“Without their love and support I could not dedicate myself to the job I love with the passion and vigour I do.Next, I must thank every one of my players. They have been incredible all season. I could not have asked anymore of them so I share this award with them and my fantastic backroom staff.

Oostende coach Alexander Blessin breaks silence over Sheffield United links

“I would also like to thank Gauthier Ganaye and the board for giving me the opportunity to manage this fantastic club.

Oostende's head coach Alexander Blessin: KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

“Lastly, I would like to say a huge thank you to the fans. I wish we could have shared this exciting season with you in the stadium. Your kind words and support on social media never go unnoticed. Much love.”