Football: Club Brugge sack coach Garrido

Club Brugge's head coach Juan Carlos Garrido gives a press conference of Belgian football team Club Brugge on Aug 7, 2013, in Brugge. Belgian first-division football side Club Brugge fired Garrido on Thursday, Sept 19, 2013, following their fail
Club Brugge's head coach Juan Carlos Garrido gives a press conference of Belgian football team Club Brugge on Aug 7, 2013, in Brugge. Belgian first-division football side Club Brugge fired Garrido on Thursday, Sept 19, 2013, following their failure to qualify for the Europa League. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgian first-division football side Club Brugge fired their Spanish coach Juan Carlos Garrido on Thursday, following their failure to qualify for the Europa League.

The team who last won the Belgian title in 2005 are off to a bright start this season and are currently second with 17 points from seven games, just one point behind leaders Standard Liege.

Their next match is at home to champions Anderlecht on Sunday. However, the disappointment of failing to reach the group stage of Europe's second-tier competition likely cost the 44-year-old Garrido his job as assistants Philippe Clement and Stephan van der Heyden step into a duel caretaker's role.

Garrido, who took over the post a year ago from Georges Leekens after leaving Liga outfit Villarreal, is the first head coach to be sacked in the Belgian top flight this season.

The local press has speculated that the club are lining up former Belgian international goalkeeper Michel Preud'homme to take over, after he was released on Wednesday by Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab-Riyadh.