La Liga news

Manzano replaces Caparros at Mallorca

February 5, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

New Real Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano admitted he knew the size of the challenge he is taking on, as the experienced manager returned to San Moix for a third spell in charge.

La Liga
AssociatedGregorio Manzano has picked Mallorca up in recent weeks

Manzano's predecessor Joaquin Caparros was fired on Monday, with the team having claimed just six points from their last 17 games. They currently sit 19th in the Primera Division standings, four points from safety.

Manzano's previous terms at Mallorca included securing the club's first and only Copa del Rey trophy in 2003 and a fifth-place finish in 2010, after which he left the club due to issues with then president Mateo Alemany.

Speaking at his presentation to local reporters on Tuesday lunchtime, Manzano, 56, said his first priority was now to save the side from relegation this season, as he had done when he took charge at a similar stage of the 2005/06 season.

"I know the place and some of the players, I know the challenge," he said. "Our job is to save the team and from there to continue another year. I am returning to a place that for me, in professional terms, has been everything. Not just in time spent here but in feelings, games and experiences. When the rumour of a return emerged, the memory of six years ago came to me. You never know where this job will take you. I feel very proud."

The much-travelled coach, whose most recent jobs were at Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, said that any unresolved issues from last spell at Mallorca would not affect his working relationship with current president Lorenzo Serra Ferrer.

"My case is against the previous regime," he said. "It has nothing to do with [the current one]."

Manzano, who takes charge for the Primera Division clash with fellow strugglers Osasuna on Saturday, said Mallorca's players could avoid relegation if their commitment matched their quality.

"I know this squad, there are players who I have coached before, but they must all be looked at together," he said. "We need players at 120%. This squad has the quality and commitment to stay up."

Under Caparros, Mallorca won three and drew two of their first five league games this season, but the side's disastrous form since then culminated in Sunday's 3-0 defeat at Real Sociedad, which led Serra Ferrer to finally act.

The Andalucian said at his final press conference on Monday evening that he accepted it had been time for him to leave, but that a plague of injuries had been the primary reason for the club's poor results.

"No professional likes a decision like this, but [I would like to] thank Mallorca, its people, the fans and a group of players who will get out of this," Caparros said. "We have had seven very bad injuries, something that has never happened before. That stopped the team from settling. I do not like to hide behind bad luck, but it is a fact not an excuse."