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Valladolid and Espanyol fire coaches as they fight to stay up

Valladolid fired coach Jose ‘Pacheta’ Rojo on Monday while Espanyol confirmed they had axed their coach Diego Martinez.

Espanyol have slipped to 17th in the 20-team Liga, after losing four straight league games. They are ahead of Almeria in the first relegation place only on goal difference. Valencia are another point behind with a far superior goal difference.

Valladolid lost 6-0 at Real Madrid on Sunday and are one point and one place better off than Espanyol.

Martinez held a farewell press conference Espanyol on Monday following the club’s announcement that he was leaving.

“Results lead our organisation to make this decision with the sole and clear objective of staying in the top fight,” said Espanyol in a statement.

Valladolid, whose president is former Brazil great Ronaldo, echoed the sentiments in a statement posted on their web site as they dismissed the coach who led them to promotion last year in his first season in charge.

“The club recognises the important career of the coach and the role he has played in the team since his arrival but, with the sole objective of achieving survival in the top flight at the end of the current campaign, we have opted to continue in another direction,” said the Valladolid statement.

Spanish media calculated that the two firings took the total of coaching changes this season to a Liga record of 11. 

On March 20, the Monday after the last round of matches before the international break, mid-table Sevilla fired Jorge Sampaoli, who took over in October, and last-place Elche fired Pablo Machin, their fifth change of coach, including interim bosses, this season. 

Valencia fired Gennaro Gattuso in January and then replaced the stand-in, Voro, in February.


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