Real Zaragoza have moved quickly to fill the gap left by Víctor Fernández's departure by promoting the club's youth-team coach Ander Garitano as his successor.
Garitano, who made 143 Spanish league appearances for the Aragon outfit, takes the helm after Fernández left his post by mutual consent on Sunday. Zaragoza had failed to deliver on the promise of last season's sixth-placed finish – exiting the UEFA Cup in the first round, and sitting 12th in the Primera División following Sunday's 2-2 home draw with RCD Mallorca.
Fernández had been appointed in the summer of 2006 and after last term's impressive showing, was allowed to bring in eight major signings. The former Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners will now be led by 38-year-old Garitano, the terms of whose contract have yet to be revealed. The ex-Athletic Club Bilbao midfielder will oversee his first match with Wednesday's Copa del Rey trip to Real Racing Club Santander. The first leg of the last-16 tie had ended 1-1 at La Romareda.
'Room for improvement'
"I don't have the slightest doubt that I'm capable of doing this job," the new man said. "I'm confident that the work we do with the team will help move us forward. The key thing is that we try to play good football and to get results. I have a long-term vision. Offensively, the team have great potential but defensively we must improve."
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