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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 15, 2007

PSG replace coach Lacombe with Le Guen

PARIS, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Paris St Germain sacked coach Guy Lacombe on Monday and commissioned former Olympique Lyon and Rangers manager Paul Le Guen to save them from relegation.

'We started the season badly and it was frightening to start the year badly,' chairman Alain Cayzac told a news conference.

'Guy Lacombe is not the only person to blame. Some of our players didn't revolt. Paul Le Guen has not been appointed by default. He was available. He knows Paris and the club.'

The club have won only four Ligue 1 games this season and lie 17th in the table, just one spot and two points above the drop zone.

Le Guen played for seven seasons with PSG in the 1990s, winning the League Cup twice, lifting the French Cup three times and winning the 1996 European Cup Winners' Cup.

As a coach, he led Olympique Lyon to three successive Ligue 1 titles from 2003 to 2005. He joined Rangers at the start of this season but left by mutual consent on Jan. 4 after a disappointing spell in Glasgow.

'I'm proud of joining PSG because I'm attached to the club. I know the club is in a state of emergency. We must escape relegation,' he the news conference.

'I'm not disappointed nor wounded by my stint in Glasgow. The results were not a disaster, they were average. I think I came back stronger.'

Le Guen conducted his first training session on Monday afternoon. He will make his first appearance as PSG coach on Wednesday in a re-scheduled Ligue 1 home game against Toulouse.

His mission will also be to reconcile club and players with their hardline supporters as, under Lacombe's tenure, the capital side - plagued by hooliganism since they were founded in 1970 - experienced crisis off the pitch.

In November a policeman shot dead a 25-year-old fan outside the Parc des Princes while under attack from supporters shouting racist insults and chasing a French Jewish supporter of Hapoel Tel Aviv after a UEFA Cup match.

The Boulogne Kop, an area of the Parc des Princes where Paris St Germain's most extreme fans traditionally assemble, has been closed since on police orders.

Paris mayor Betrand Delanoe threatened to stop funding PSG unless effective measures were taken to rid the club of hooliganism.