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Espanyol replace coach Mane with Pochettino

ESPANYOL have sacked coach Jose Manuel Esnal after only eight games in charge and replaced him with former Argentina defender Mauricio Pochettino, Spanish media reported today.

The Barcelona-based club, who were beaten 4-0 by Malaga on Sunday and are in 18th place in the Primera Liga out of 20, could not immediately be reached for comment.

"Mane did not provide the positive catalyst for change that we were expecting," El Pais newspaper quoted club official Joan Collet as saying.

Pochettino, 36, had two spells as a player for Espanyol and ended his career in June 2006.

He also played for Newell's Old Boys, Paris St Germain and Girondins Bordeaux and was a member of the Argentina squad at the World Cup finals in 2002.

Espanyol's next match is tomorrow at home to league leaders and city rivals Barcelona in the first leg of their King's Cup quarter-final.

The experienced Esnal, known as Mane in Spain, replaced Bartolome 'Tintin' Marquez at the beginning of last month but his only victory since then was an away goals win against Segunda B (third tier) side Poli Ejido in the Cup.

Mane made his name with Alaves when he led them into the top flight in 1998 and then to the final of the 2001 UEFA Cup, where they lost 5-4 to Liverpool on a golden goal.


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