José María Bakero has replaced Jacek Zieliński as coach of KKS Lech Poznań with last season's Polish champions having endured a torrid start to the new Ekstraklasa campaign.
The 47-year-old Bakero takes over from Zieliński following his own dismissal by KSP Polonia Warszawa in September. The former Real Sociedad de Fútbol, FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder has signed a contract until the end of the season, with the option of a further 12 months.
"I see many positives within the team, but I would like us to improve in some areas," said Bakero, who won the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup and two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups with Barcelona. "We want to win every match and play the best football possible."
Despite a 4-1 win against Wisła Kraków on Sunday, Lech are 14th in the 16-club Polish top flight, although Zieliński's charges had fared better in the UEFA Europa League, lying second in Group A. Bakero was quick to credit Zieliński for their European form, saying: "A special thank you is due to the former coach. It is down to his contribution that Lech got into the Europa League"
Zieliński, 49, had been appointed in June 2009 and led Lech to the title in his first campaign. However, the decision was taken yesterday to remove him from the hot seat. Bakero will make his debut in Thursday's Group A home game against Manchester City FC, Lech having lost 3-1 to the same opponents in England on Matchday 3. "We can expect a tough match," said the new man. Striker Artur Wichniarek, meanwhile, has been released from his contract.
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