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By ESPN Staff

Valencia sack coach Sanchez Flores

MADRID, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Valencia sacked coach Quique Sanchez Flores in the early hours of Monday morning following the side's 3-0 defeat at Sevilla.

The Primera Liga side said that reserve team boss Oscar Fernandez would take charge of the team on a caretaker basis.

Last week Valencia slipped to a surprise 2-0 defeat away to Rosenborg in the Champions League and are in third place in Group B, four points behind leaders Chelsea.

Despite Sunday's loss to Sevilla, Valencia are fourth in the Primera Liga, four points adrift of leaders Real Madrid.

'It wasn't an easy decision that was taken just because of one bad result,' club president Juan Soler told a news conference on Monday.

'It was a carefully thought-out decision taken after an intensive analysis by the technical staff so that we can achieve our aim of becoming one of the top teams in Europe.'

Sanchez Flores is the third coach to have been sacked by the club since Soler took over as president three years ago with predecessors Antonio Lopez and Claudio Ranieri also failing to meet his expectations.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, Italy's World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi and Portugal boss Luiz Felipe Scolari are all reported to be in the frame for the permanent post.

'I hope that what has happened ends up being positive for Valencia,' Sanchez Flores told a news conference.

'I leave the club with some degree of pain but also with some relief. They have been difficult and often lonely years.

'I may have lost my job but I feel that I have recovered my life which, for me, is the most important thing.

'I hope Valencia achieve the objectives they have set for themselves, but I leave the club in the knowledge that the team is in a better position than when I arrived.'

A former Real Madrid and Valencia defender who was also capped for Spain, he took charge of Valencia at the start of the 2005-06 season following a successful spell in charge of modest Primera Liga side Getafe.

He steered Valencia to a third-place finish in the league in his first season in charge and fourth place last term, despite a string of injuries to leading players.

Valencia were the most successful Spanish team in last season's Champions League, reaching the quarter-finals where they lost narrowly to Chelsea after a last-minute strike from midfielder Michael Essien.

The son of former Real Madrid player Isidro Sanchez who married into the Flores flamenco dynasty, Sanchez Flores is renowned for his self confidence and occasional outspoken comments.

Despite the team's successes on the pitch the 42-year-old never appeared completely settled at a club which has designs on breaking the Real Madrid and Barcelona stranglehold on the Primera Liga honours.

Their notoriously fickle fans frequently criticised Sanchez Flores for an overly conservative style of play.

He also fell out with sporting director Amedeo Carboni over the club's transfer policy, which led to the Italian's departure from the Mestalla last season.