Atletico sack Resino
Atletico Madrid have announced the sacking of coach Abel Resino following a poor start to the season.
The struggling Primera Division outfit decided to act in the wake of Wednesday night's 4-0 UEFA Champions League drubbing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. "Abel Resino is no longer the first team coach of Atletico de Madrid as of Friday," the club said on its website.
That defeat, which has left Atletico with just one point from three games in Group D and in grave danger of missing out on a place in the last 16, was the latest in a series of setbacks this season for Atletico, who have also won just once in seven league games.
Resino, the first La Liga coach to lose his job this season, confirmed his departure at a news conference with Pitarch. "This is goodbye," he said."I have been at this club many times, I have left and I have returned, so I have to give every thanks to all the employees, to the players, for what they tried to do but didn't work, and to the club for having had confidence in me. I wish all the luck in the world to the club because as I am leaving this seat I am now just another Rojiblanco and I hope the team moves upwards."
Resino took over in February, initially until the end of last season, following the dismissal of Javier Aguirre. He led Atletico to a fourth-placed finish last term after winning eight of their final nine games and that earned the 49-year-old an extended stint in the hotseat.
Atletico have not been able to carry that form into this season though, and a 3-0 opening day defeat to Malaga warned of troubled times ahead. Since then, the nine-times Spanish champions have suffered further heavy losses to Barcelona (5-2) and Osasuna (3-0) in the league, and also incurred the wrath of their increasingly disgruntled fans following disappointing home draws against Racing Santander, Almeria and Apoel Nicosia.
Resino leaves Atletico in 15th place in the league with six points and the worst goals-against record in the division having conceded 17, but is confident his successor can turn things around. He added: "The one who has given everything they have is not obliged to give more. I have a calm conscience for having tried.
"It's about reversing this situation. A pair of results will change everything. The team's way of playing does not correspond with the results we have been getting. I am Atletico and I want to continue supporting this club so that it continues growing or, even better, establishes itself at the top."
Despite Resino's apparent calm at the news there was some controversy about the manner of his sacking. Reports suggest the news should have emerged yesterday but Pitarch could not get in touch with his coach.
When asked about this Resino replied: "As far as I know Suso (Pitarch) did not call me during the whole day. The phone was blocked with calls and I put it onto silent. When I saw Suso's call at night, I called him in the morning."
Pitarch also angrily responded, saying: "I said that I called Abel, but not in the morning. I said that I could not talk to him yesterday and the day has 24 hours, I only want to point that out."
Resino's technical staff will be in charge for tomorrow's visit of Real Mallorca. Former Benfica and Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores is favourite to take over the reins on a permanent basis.