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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

'Existing Betis squad can save season' - Fernandez

MADRID, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Real Betis's new coach Luis Fernandez said at his presentation on Thursday it was not a priority to bring in reinforcements to help turn around the club's season.

'I think Betis have a good squad, and I have a lot of confidence in them. I am one of those who believe that they can sort this out,' Fernandez told a news conference.

'January is a difficult time to bring in new signings, and it isn't the right moment. The club has talented, professional players and if they give their all and the luck returns, we will succeed.'

The former France international takes over a side 18th in the 20-team Primera Liga with only three wins from 15 league games, though they have made it to the last 16 of the King's Cup.

'When a team is in this situation it lacks confidence and motivation. It is important to start with this first,' he added.

Betis's majority shareholder Manuel Ruiz de Lopera said Fernandez had agreed to join the club until the end of June, when both sides would sit down and talk again.

'Fernandez is a great professional but he cannot perform miracles. I wish him luck and hope everything goes well,' he said.

Fernandez, who has coached Paris St Germain, Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol among others, replaces Javier Irureta who quit last week after only six months at the helm.