Manzano back for third Mallorca spell
Gregorio Manzano is set for a third spell in charge of Real Mallorca after the club said they have reached a preliminary agreement with the Spanish coach. The club last night parted company with Joaquin Caparros as they seek a way to reverse their fortunes, with a return of only 17 points from 22 games leaving them second bottom of La Liga.
Manzano, 56, who was previously at Mallorca from 2002-03 and then 2006-10 in a well-travelled career, has been out of work since leaving Atletico Madrid two years ago.
A statement published on the Mallorca website today read: "RCD Mallorca has reached a tentative agreement with Gregorio Manzano to lead the first team."
Manzano was the man who led Mallorca to their best finish in recent memory as he guided them to fifth place in 2010, only to be let go by the club as they could not afford to renew his contract that summer. He moved on to Sevilla and took them to a fifth-placed finish before being tempted back for a second spell with Atletico, which would end sourly with the club down in 10th place.
Manzano himself has said he is confident the side can maintain their top-flight status.
"I know the place and some of the squad. Moreover, I know the goal. We need commitment to save the team and continue for another year in the First Division," he told reporters. "I know this squad, there are players that I have managed before, but I need to analyse it in full. We need players at 120 percent. This squad has the quality and commitment to stay in the top flight."
The 56-year-old also expressed his joy at returning to a club he said feels like a home.
"It is a return to a home that in a professional sense has been everything for me," he said. "When the rumour spread about my return it reminded me of six years ago. You never know where your profession may take you. It could have been to another place, but I feel very proud."
Mallorca have lost their last four matches, leading to Caparros' sacking last night. "It is a difficult time for Mallorca, and for me, it's hard to have to give this news," said club president Llorenc Serra Ferrer. "We talked to coach Joaquin Caparros about the situation that the team was going through, and came to the conclusion we need to push forward for the remainder of the competition in order to achieve our objective of keeping the team in the Primera Division."
Caparros himself said: "No professional will ever be happy about a decision like this. I'm hurt, because I also felt the support of the fans until the last moment and the support of a group of players I'm sure will push through the situation."