Raimondas Žutautas has resigned as coach of Lithuania following a disappointing conclusion to their UEFA EURO 2012 campaign, with the Baltic nation finishing fourth in the five-team Group I with five points.
The 39-year-old announced his departure in the wake of Tuesday's 4-1 home defeat by the Czech Republic, saying: "Since I have failed to reach the targets we set for this campaign, my time is up in the job. I want to thank the players for their efforts and the fans for supporting us through a difficult time. Furthermore, I wish my successor luck – hopefully he will be appointed in the near future – as well as the whole squad, who I am fully behind."
Žutautas became Lithuania's youngest national coach when he replaced José Couceiro at the start of qualifying at the age of 37. The former Lithuania captain enjoyed notable early successes, a draw at home to Scotland and a win in the Czech Republic last autumn, but his side have not triumphed since. A shock defeat in Liechtenstein in June was followed by last month's goalless home draw with the same opponents.
The former midfielder represented Maccabi Haifa FC and Panathinaikos FC among other clubs and scored once in 40 appearances for his country. Before taking charge of Lithuania, he assisted his one-time boss Itzhak Shum at FC Alania Vladikavkaz. Next year Lithuania begin FIFA World Cup qualifying in Group G alongside Greece, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia and EURO opponents Liechtenstein.
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