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Garitano opts out at Zaragoza

Published: Tuesday 22 January 2008, 23.40CET
Ander Garitano has stepped down as Real Zaragoza coach just eight days after replacing Víctor Fernández, admitting he did not "feel emotionally strong enough".

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Published: Tuesday 22 January 2008, 23.40CET

Garitano opts out at Zaragoza

Ander Garitano has stepped down as Real Zaragoza coach just eight days after replacing Víctor Fernández, admitting he did not "feel emotionally strong enough".

Ander Garitano has stepped down as Real Zaragoza coach just eight days after he was appointed as Víctor Fernández's successor, admitting he did not "feel emotionally strong enough".

Weekend win
Garitano, who made 143 Spanish league appearances for the Aragon outfit, took the helm after Fernández left by mutual consent on 13 January. The former youth-team coach guided the side to a 3-1 victory against Real Murcia CF on Sunday, recovering from a 4-2 Copa del Rey defeat by Real Racing Club Santander on his managerial debut, but has now said he is not ready for the responsibility. "I accepted the challenge of coaching a squad I feel is qualified to do well," the 38-year-old said. "But I didn't feel emotionally strong enough.

'Surprising'
"As surprising as my decision must seem, it's purely down to personal reasons. I would rather someone else was coach because the team needs someone emotionally at 100 per cent." The search is on for a third coach in the space of a fortnight, with the new man to be charged with turning around a campaign which has failed to deliver on the promise of last term's sixth-placed finish – Zaragoza exited the UEFA Cup in the first round and sit eleventh in the Primera División.

Last updated: 23/01/08 10.21CET

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