Valencia have sacked Javia Gracia as manager, the Spanish club announced on Monday, with just four games left of the season.
A 3-2 loss to Barcelona at Mestalla on Sunday proved to be Gracia’s last game after just 10 months in charge.
Valencia are 14th in La Liga after six games without a win, but Gracia had avoided them from the last three, a feat in itself after the club sold off several key players last summer.
They are currently six points above the relegation zone.
“Valencia CF announced on Monday the dismissal of Javi Gracia as coach of the first team,” said a statement from the club.
“The Club would like to publicly thank him for his hard work and dedication during these months at the head of the team and wish him the best of luck for the future.
“Salvador Gonzalez ‘Voro’ will lead the first team on a provisional basis. ”
Valencia have had a miserable season to continue the club’s decline under the unpopular leadership of owner Peter Lim and chairman Anil Murthy.
Gracia’s job was made more difficult when the club made no signings last summer while allowing Ferran Torres, Rodrigo Moreno, Daniel Parejo and Francis Coquelin to leave. Parejo and Coquelin have joined their rivals Villarreal.
In September, Gracia criticized the club’s activity in the transfer window and even considered stepping down, according to reports in the Spanish press at the time.
Three wins in La Liga’s first 18 games put Valencia among the last three in January, but a slight improvement in results was enough to push them away from the relegation zone, before falling further in recent weeks.
Lim and Murthy will now be looking for Valencia’s sixth permanent coach in five years.
It is also the sixth time Voro has been placed in temporary charge, the first game of his last out at home against struggling compatriots Real Valladolid on Sunday.
© 2021 AFP