Fernandez resigns as Montpellier coach
Jean Fernandez has resigned as coach of Montpellier after a disastrous short-lived spell with the former French champions.
The 2-0 home defeat to Lorient on Wednesday was Montpellier's fourth loss in a seven-game winless streak that has left them just a place above the relegation zone.
During the game, Fernandez, 59, had heard the home fans sing the praises of former coaches Rolland Courbis and Rene Girard, the man who led the club to the Ligue 1 title in 2011-12, before calling for his resignation.
Though he claimed in the immediate aftermath of the loss he did not feel his position in jeopardy, Fernandez's future had been in doubt since Montpellier president Louis Nicollin was quoted last weekend as admitting he had "made a stupid mistake" in appointing the experienced tactician to replace Girard in the summer.
"I felt it through the results, when you don't win it's always difficult, and I felt that a lot of criticism was focused on me, so it was better to stop," Fernandez, who confirmed he had taken the decision after consulting with Montpellier president Louis Nicollin, told a news conference.
"It's a difficult situation, and I think the interests of the club come before that of the coach. That has always been my philosophy, and as a consequence of that, I have taken this decision."
Courbis, who guided Montpellier back into the top flight in 2009 before immediately being replaced by Girard, is the French media's favourite to succeed Fernandez.
"You can think of it like that, but for the moment, nothing has been decided," Courbis told lequipe.fr. "I can't say anything for the moment. I'll know more in the next 24 hours."