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Petar Vasiljevic backed to lead Osasuna to safety by president

Osasuna currently sit bottom of La Liga.

Osasuna president Luis Sabalza believes Petar Vasiljevic is the right man to lead the club as they attempt to fight off relegation from La Liga.

The Spanish outfit, who sit bottom of the table, dismissed Joaquin Caparros on Thursday and appointed the club's sporting director Vasiljevic as his replacement for the reminder of the campaign.

"We thought Caparros was the right person to motivate the team but the results have proved that is not the case," Sabalza is quoted as saying by AS. "We have a crucial month ahead of us and we felt it was the right time to make the change considering the results.

"Vasiljevic is the person for the job as he knows this team better than anyone and he is the one that can give us aspirations to avoid the drop."

Osasuna began the season with Enrique Martin at the helm but they parted company with the club sitting 19th in the table following a single win from 11 league games.

Osasuna then handed the reins to Caparros on Nov. 9, but their fortunes did not change, losing all five league games under the 61-year-old and mustering just one win from eight matches overall.

"The only reason for the coaching change is poor results," Sabalza said.

Vasiljevic inherits a team that has secured just seven points from 16 games this season and are five points adrift of 17th-placed Valencia.

The Serbian, who had two spells at the club as a player and coached the youth team for two seasons, has no coaching experience at the highest level.

"I accept this challenge, I'm a fighter," the 46-year-old told AS. "I am a man of this club. I have no fear. I've experienced difficult situations in this club and this is one of them.

"We have to be united. I expect to have the support of the players, and that they give their all. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here. I believe I can recover the level and the fighting spirit that the team appears to have lost."

The Belgrade-born Vasiljevic's first game at the helm will be at home to Valencia in La Liga on Monday.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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