KRC Genk have announced the departure of coach Mario Been following Sunday's 2-0 home defeat by Waasland-Beveren, with Emilio Ferrera appointed his successor.
That reverse left Genk sixth in the Belgian First League, 22 points adrift of leaders R. Standard de Liège. The exit of Been, 50, was confirmed at a press conference – attended by the Dutchman himself – at the KRC Genk Arena on Monday.
"We are saying goodbye to someone who nobody doubts is a good coach and a good human being," said general director Dirk Degraen. "That is why we felt it our duty to stand by Mario's side here at his departure." Been, who was appointed in 2011, added: "I am here because I want to leave with my head held high. This morning I spoke to the team, and that hurt. I received applause from everyone, including the players. That was heart-warming."
Genk have moved quickly to fill the void, with Ferrera, a 46-year-old with Spanish roots, taking the reins until the end of the season. Ferrera ended a three-year spell at al-Shabab FC last month, first as assistant to Michel Preud’homme before taking the top spot in September.
"This is a big club with very good players," he said. "The situation is not nice right now, but I am going to try to build up a good team again. I know I do not have much time, but in football there is never a lot of time." Indeed, Genk host FC Anji Makhachkala in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie on Thursday, having drawn 0-0 in Russia last week.
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