PSV Eindhoven fires coach Fred Rutten
PSV Eindhoven fired coach Fred Rutten on Monday after a string of poor results threatened the team's Dutch league title hopes.
Rutten's fate was sealed Sunday when his struggling team lost 3-1 to NAC Breda, its third defeat in just over a week following a 4-2 Europa League loss at Valencia and a 6-2 thrashing by title rival FC Twente.
Angry fans waited for the team bus Sunday night as it returned to Eindhoven and demanded Rutten's sacking.
The club said in a statement it ''regrets the unavoidable departure'' of Rutten and his assistant Erik ten Hag.
Despite the defeats, PSV remains fourth in the Dutch Eredivisie, four points behind leader AZ Alkmaar.
But the team - drawn from one of the Dutch league's most expensive squads - has looked rudderless in its recent defeats and Rutten appeared to have no answers to the slump in form.
''I'm convinced we have a good squad, but unfortunately it has not achieved the results we hoped for,'' technical director Marcel Brands said. ''It's a young team and needs time, but since the winter break it has just gotten worse and worse.''
Rutten joined PSV in 2009 after his firing by Bundesliga side Schalke and led the team to disappointing third-place finishes in his first two seasons. He was due to leave PSV at the end of this season.
The team announced Monday that former Netherlands midfielder Phillip Cocu and ex-PSV defender Ernest Faber will take charge of the team on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Cocu has been an assistant to Netherlands national team coach Bert van Marwijk since 2008.
He represented his country 101 times in a career that also saw him play for PSV from 1995-98 before moving to Barcelona until 2004. He then returned to PSV where he helped the club win three straight league titles from 2005-07.
PSV general director Tiny Sanders said Cocu agreed to take on Rutten's coaching duties ''in the best interests of the club.''
''We know Cocu's opinion of the squad and the squad's opinion of Cocu,'' Sanders said. ''We expect the players to accept what has happened and move on.''