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Murcia sack coach Alcaraz and appoint Clemente

MURCIA, March 6 (Primera Liga) - Former Spain coach Javier Clemente has been appointed as coach of Real Murcia until the end of the season after the relegation-threatened side sacked Lucas Alcaraz.

Murcia president Jesus Samper announced at a press conference on Thursday night that Clemente would be presented as coach on Friday and would be in charge for this weekend's game in the Primera Liga at home to Getafe.

He takes over a Murcia side which currently occupies 19th place in La Liga, six points adrift of safety.

Samper said: 'Javier Clemente is the new coach. He will be on the bench for the game against Getafe.

'(He is) a very capable coach, professional, talented, and with a great footballing knowledge.

'Now we have to support our coach to take us forward. This squad has the capacity to get out of this situation.'

Samper, who only days ago gave ousted coach Alcaraz a vote of confidence, said the decision to change coach was not an easy one, but results dictated that action had to be taken.

'It hurts me to have to make this decision, especially when people have worked honestly like Alcaraz has,' he said.

'The results are what decides these things. There's no point rushing these things and we've taken our time with this decision.'

Clemente has been out of a job since he was sacked from his role as Serbia coach in December.

His assistant from the Serbia job, Risto Vidakovic, will join Clemente again as his second-in-command.

Clemente's last job in Spain was as coach of Athletic Bilbao, a post he was sacked from in 2006 after helping the club to avoid relegation.

The Basque coach has also had spells at Espanyol, Atletico Madrid, Betis and Real Sociedad. His honours as coach are two La Liga championships, a Copa del Rey title and one Spanish Super Cup all with Athletic Bilbao in the 1980s.

He recently turned down the post of Iran coach after disagreements over living arrangements.