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Lotina bids farewell to Deportivo

Deportivo La Coruna coach Miguel Angel Lotina has left the Galician outfit in the wake of the club's relegation to the Segunda Division this weekend.

Depor, who are the only side other than Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia to have been crowned Spanish champions in the last 15 seasons following their title-winning triumph in 2000, saw their 20-year stint in the top flight come to an end after they lost 2-0 at home to Valencia on Saturday.

That result on the final day of the season, combined with Real Zaragoza beating Levante 2-1, left Depor in the third and final relegation spot, a point behind Getafe and Real Mallorca and safety, and they joined Hercules and Almeria in going down.

Lotina, 53, took over Depor in 2007 and led the club to top-10 finishes - ninth, seventh and 10th - in his three previous seasons in charge, but has now left the former La Liga champions, informing fans in an open letter.

He said: "I would've liked (to say goodbye) in another way, with the team in the Primera Division, but we haven't been able to do it, despite the extraordinary effort that everyone has made, from the players to our fans.''

Lotina, who said he had taken the decision to leave a while ago, added: "I'm deeply sorry for not being able to take this ship to a safe harbour, but I assure you it was not for want of trying.

"I want to say thanks and to apologise. I will take with me the memory of a great club and the affection that the fans have shown me, even in these recent days which have been so difficult for all.

"Hercules and Almeria did not have worse squads than Deportivo but I can say that up to 10 sides who will continue in the Primera Division did not have better than us.''

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