Nuno quits after 9-man Valencia go down

Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo giving instructions during his final game coaching Valencia. Frank Rijkaard and Michael Laudrup are the front runners to take charge at the Mestalla.
Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo giving instructions during his final game coaching Valencia. Frank Rijkaard and Michael Laudrup are the front runners to take charge at the Mestalla.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

MADRID • Valencia's coach Nuno Espirito Santo has resigned, after Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Sevilla left the Spanish football club ninth in La Liga.

A Sergio Escudero goal was enough to see off Valencia at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in a match in which the visitors had both Joao Cancelo and Javi Fuego sent off. Los Che's defeat was their eighth in 20 games this season.

Nuno, a former goalkeeper, was appointed at the Mestalla in July last year to replace Juan Antonio Pizzi and guided the club to fourth place last season and Champions League qualification under an ambitious project financed by the club's Singaporean owner Peter Lim.

But, with Valencia on the brink of elimination in the Champions League and struggling in the Spanish league, Nuno revealed he had told Lim that he intended to resign before Sunday's game.

Alvaro Negredo, Rodrigo Moreno and Aymen Abdennour are among the big-money signings who have come in but Valencia have not fared well this season.

The club have a reputation for having demanding fans and there was some discontent at the way they ground out results in qualifying for Europe's top competition, while this season there have been regular chants of "Nuno out" at the Mestalla.

"Before the game I spoke with the president, with the owner, Peter Lim, and we have spoken after the game. We are all in agreement that the situation is not good. We all want to do the best for the club," he said.

"It's for that reason that I have taken the decision to leave the club. It's been an honour to coach the club. I want to thank all the players I have worked with, Peter Lim and the fans."

Reports in Spain suggested that former Manchester United player Phil Neville, who has been working as an assistant to Nuno, will be asked to take training this week, with Frank Rijkaard and Michael Laudrup among the early contenders to succeed him.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2015, with the headline 'Nuno quits after 9-man Valencia go down'. Print Edition | Subscribe