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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 17, 2008

Coleman: 'Impossible' to stay as Sociedad coach

Chris Coleman claims he had been eager to stay at Real Sociedad but admits circumstances made it 'impossible' for him to continue as coach. Coleman brought the curtain down on his six-month tenure at the Spanish second division side yesterday when he and assistant Steve Kean announced their joint resignations. On the field things were going well for Sociedad, with the team having lost just once in 11 matches and last weekend moving up to fifth with their derby win over Alaves, one point off Sporting Gijon and the third promotion place. However, events off the pitch have not been so smooth, with newly-elected Sociedad president Inaki Badiola bringing in his own ideas and policies that differed greatly to the ones set out following Coleman's arrival last summer. One of Badiola's plans was to bring in a number of new players that he had already pinpointed - a policy which did not sit well with Coleman, who was against new faces being brought in over his head - while the new president also introduced a six-month timescale to take Sociedad back into the Primera Liga. When Coleman took the reins he had a three-year plan for the club, and while the former Fulham boss admits he has greatly enjoyed his time in San Sebastian and would like to have stayed, he felt he was left with no choice but to leave. 'We signed three-year contracts because we believed that's how long it would take to stabilise, however things have changed so we are very sad to be resigning form our posts at Real Sociedad, which makes it difficult for us,' said Coleman, who took over from Miguel Angel Lotina last July after Sociedad had dropped out of the top flight for the first time in 40 years. 'It's obvious what the problems are, two difference of opinions from the president and myself. 'I thought, after explaining that I wouldn't stay if other people picked new players, that I would leave. After that we thought long and hard and really wanted to stay, but at this moment it's obvious that that is going to be impossible. 'The team has done very well, it's one point away from the third position and I thought maybe if we kept winning then the negativity would disappear, but it's not been the case.' Coleman - whose resignation will no doubt increase speculation he could join Newcastle to link up again with his former manager at Fulham, Kevin Keegan - leaves Sociedad well placed in the league. And the 37-year-old has full confidence the Basque side will be back in the top flight in the not-too-distant future. He added: 'They are a terrific bunch of players, with their mentality, work ethic all top drawer - which is why we believed in this good young team, who are getting better, starting to win now... but unfortunately we have run out of time and we wish them the best and whoever the next coach is. 'The main thing now is that Real Sociedad is promoted, this season or next season, eventually they will do it. We believe that and we hope that's what will happen.' Sociedad have been linked with Villarreal B coach Juan Carlos Oliva as a possible replacement for Coleman.