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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 27, 2006

Bilbao part company with under-fire Sarriugarte

BILBAO, November 27 (Primera Liga) - Felix Sarriugarte became the second Primera Liga coach to be fired in the last 24 hours when he was shown the door at Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

Sarriugarte was sacked after Athletic dropped into the relegation zone at the weekend following their 3-1 home defeat to Sevilla, and joins Luis Cesar on the managerial scrapheap.

Cesar was dismissed as coach of La Liga bottom club Gimnastic Tarragona on Sunday evening after their 3-2 defeat at home to Real Mallorca.

The other side in the relegation zone, Real Sociedad, made the first managerial change of the season when they fired Jose Mari Bakero last month and replaced him with Miguel Angel Lotina.

Athletic announced the news on their website, saying: 'The board of directors of Athletic Club have decided in their meeting today to replace the coach of the first team Felix Sarriugarte.'

Sarriugarte took over the reins of Athletic in the summer after being promoted from the club's reserve team to replace former Spain coach Javier Clemente.

A former player with the Basque club, Sarriugarte saw his side record a 1-1 draw against Sociedad in his first league match in the hotseat, but it was downhill after that.

In their next two games Athletic shipped seven goals in losing to Real Betis and Barcelona, while the Bilbao side had to wait until week six before celebrating their first win when they defeated Gimnastic 3-2.

That has been Athletic's only league victory so far though, and Sunday's defeat to Sevilla proved to be the final nail in Sarriugarte's coffin, with the 42-year-old leaving the club third from bottom in the standings with just eight points from 12 games.

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