Francis Gillot has stepped down as coach of RC Lens after the club missed out on a place in the UEFA Champions League on the final day of the Ligue 1 season.
'Respect his choice'
Lens president Gervais Martel confirmed he has accepted Gillot's decision to resign on Monday, just 18 months after the 47-year-old replaced Joël Muller at the Stade Félix-Bollaert helm. "It is a disappointment for both of us," Martel said. "Francis is an exceptionally honest person, a hard worker who always gave 300 per cent. But he does not make his decisions lightly so it is best to respect his choice."
After steering Lens to fourth position and UEFA Cup qualification in the second half of last season, Gillot appeared to be taking the club he represented as a player forward this term. Les Sang et Or occupied one of the top three slots in Ligue 1 for much of the campaign, and went into Saturday's match at relegated ES Troyes Aube Champagne knowing victory would clinch a ticket to the third qualifying round of the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League. However, a shock 3-0 defeat allowed Toulouse FC and Stade Rennais FC to leapfrog them, leaving Lens fifth with the small consolation of a UEFA Intertoto Cup berth.
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