Montpellier coach Jean Fernandez has resigned after overseeing a run of seven Ligue 1 games without victory that has left the 2012 champions flirting with relegation.
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Wednesday night’s 2-0 defeat to Lorient at the Stade de la Mosson was a fourth reverse in seven matches while Montpellier have won only twice this season under the supervision of 59-year-old Fernandez.
The former Marseille and Auxerre coach replaced Lille-bound Rene Girard in the summer and delivered a 2-1 home win over Sochaux in his third league game in charge. MHSC beat Lyon 5-1 on October 6 but have not won since.
A Tweet from Fernandez on the club’s official Twitter account read: "In the interests of the club and the team I have decided to stop."
Montpellier owner Laurent Nicollin has entrusted long-serving coach Pascal Baills with the first team while he "studies options" for Fernandez’s successor.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for Fernandez when Nicollin said he might have "made a mistake" in appointing the Algeria-born tactician in an interview with Languedoc newspaper Midi Libre published last week.
"I do not blame him, he’s a good guy," Nicollin continued. "The line-up does not please me.
"As soon as we concede a goal, we are unable to come back. I have better taste than that."
Following the Lorient defeat, Fernandez boasted an unenviable record of claiming only two league wins from his last 34 Ligue 1 matches, overseeing 17 draws and 15 losses.
He resigned from former club Nancy in January with the Tomblaine outfit eventually suffering relegation to Ligue 2 following eight seasons in the top flight.
A France international at the 1976 Olympic Games, his greatest success as a coach has been guiding Auxerre into the Champions League in 2010, an accomplishment for which he was named Ligue 1 manager of the year.
Reports in France have linked former Rennes boss Frederic Antonetti with the vacancy, while the Corsican is said to face opposition from interim coach Baills and Roland Courbis, who managed Montpellier between 2007 and 2009.