Sporting Gijon coach Abelardo resigns

Madrid, Jan 18 (IANS) Abelardo Fernandez became the eighth coach in the Spanish La Liga to lose his job this football season when he tendered his resignation from Sporting Gijon.

Abelardo, who resigned late on Tuesday night, leaves the club in the wake of Sunday’s painful 2-3 home defeat to Eibar, which leaves Sporting third from bottom of the Liga Santander with just 12 points from 18 games, four behind 17th placed Valencia.

More worryingly for Sporting fans, the club won its first two games of the season and has taken just six points from the last 16 games with seven defeats in the last eight.

Abelardo, a former Sporting and Barcelona central defender, took over at Sporting with the club in the second division and led them to promotion two years ago, before keeping them in the top flight following a dramatic last day win at home to Villarreal last season.

However, after taking seven points from the opening four matches of the current campaign to raise hopes of an improvement this time around, Sporting’s form has slumped and the coach has been able to do nothing to solve the obvious weaknesses plaguing his squad.

Pepe Mel, Luis Garcia Plaza and Joan Francesc Ferrer are among the favourites to replace him in time for Sunday’s trip to face Betis.