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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 8, 2006

Sarriugarte replaces Clemente at Athletic Bilbao

MADRID, July 8 (Reuters) - Athletic Bilbao reserve team coach Felix Sarriugarte will take charge of the senior side until the end of the coming season following the sacking of Javier Clemente, the club said on Saturday.

Sarriugarte, 41, who played for Bilbao during the 1980s, has worked with the club for five years and led the reserve team to sixth place in the regionally-based third division last season.

'He is a young coach with great potential,' Bilbao president Fernando Lamikiz told a news conference. 'He uses modern methods and knows the club very well.'

Sarriugarte replaces former Spain coach Clemente who was sacked on Friday, four days after criticising the club's transfer policy.

Clemente took charge of Bilbao for the third time in his career last October when they were bottom of the Primera Liga and steered them to survival with a 12th-place finish, six points clear of the relegation zone.

He said Lamikiz had sacked him because of media pressure and because he wanted a more compliant figure as coach.

But Lamikiz said that Clemente's criticisms were not the only reason for his dismissal.

'The declarations he made on Monday were just the straw that broke the camel's back,' he said. 'Clemente doesn't know how to work as part of a team.'

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