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By ESPN Staff

Fernandez stunned to be named coach of the year

Auxerre boss Jean Fernandez failed to hide his surprise after being named Ligue 1 manager of the year.

Fernandez was handed the gong after leading Auxerre to third place in Ligue 1 with just one game remaining. He felt Didier Deschamps, who guided Marseille to their first title in 18 years in his first season in charge at the Stade Velodrome, would be given the nod instead.

"Honestly I thought it would be Didier Deschamps,'' he said. "When I found out Didier had got the job at Marseille I immediately thought it was a plus for them. And he has gone on to win the league and the Coupe de la Ligue. He deserved this trophy as much as me.

"He won everything as a player and he will win everything as a coach.''

Auxerre are already guaranteed a place in the Europa League although if they can maintain their current placing, or move ahead of second-placed Lille, they will enter next season's Champions League.

"I have enjoyed our outstanding season,'' added Fernandez. "I can only praise my players who have been superb. To be assured of a place in the Europa League is fantastic for the club.''

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