Espanyol confirm appointment of boss Abelardo Fernandez

Abelardo Fernandez has been appointed as Espanyol boss until the end of the season, the club has confirmed on Friday.

The former Sporting Gijon and Alaves boss has replaced Pablo Machin in the hotseat, following the latter’s dismissal before the Christmas break.

Machin's side were comfortably beaten at Butarque on Sunday to leave them five points from safety and now have just two points from their last eight games.

The entire coaching staff of Jordi Guerrero, Jordi Balcells and Carles Martínez have all also departed the Catalan club.

Abelardo took over at Alaves in December 2017 and had worked wonders at the Vitoria-based club, initially leading them to safety before an 11th-place finish last season.

Alaves were holding a top five spot until November and were challenging for a European place until early spring, and only slipped out of the top half of the table on the final day.

Abelardo had been linked with replacing the outgoing Quique Setien at Real Betis while other reports suggested he could replace Luis Enrique – but Rubi and Robert Moreno respectively took those posts at the time.

David Gallego replaced Rubi – now at the helm of Real Betis – this summer but had struggled in his early tenure, with defender Mario Hermoso and striker Borja Iglesias among the star departures from the RCDE Stadium.

The Catalan outfit are currently at the foot of La Liga and have won just twice from their opening 18 matches in the division, losing 12 of those outings.

Espanyol are in the last 32 of the Europa League, where they will face Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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