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Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Thursday, 16 December 2010

French coach Marchand disappointed with Tunisia sack

By Mourad Teyeb
BBC Sport, Tunis

French Coach Betrand Marchand
Marchand was only in charge of Tunisia for six months

French coach Bertrand Marchand says he is disappointed with his sacking by the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF).

Marchand was fired along with members of his backroom staff on Wednesday, after a string of poor results.

The 57-year-old had signed a two-year contract in June 2010 and was handed the task of guiding the Tunisians to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

"I am surprised and disappointed because the federation and I recently spoke about the team's future," Marchand told BBC Sport.

Marchand seemed to have the backing of the FTF despite two losses to minnows Botswana and a home draw against Malawi in Group K of the 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers.

The 2004 African champions trail Botswana by six points with three games to go.

"We talked a lot about the future of the team and were making preparations for the African Nations Championship in Sudan," added Marchand.

"I did not really expect the decision to come at this moment."

Marchand also said he had thought of resigning more than once but was persuaded to stay on by the FTF.

Apart from poor results, members of the national team have also been accused of indiscipline under Marchand.

Some players refused to play in the Nations Cup qualifiers until their bonuses were paid upfront.

But Marchand denies these issues had anything to do with him.

"These problems were there before I arrived," he said.

"Besides, most of the stories concerning indiscipline were exaggerated.

"What is important to me is the performance of the players in training and the shape they are in before games."

Several sources in Tunisia are now linking Marchand with the vacant job at Egypt's Al Ahly.

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see also
Marchand tipped to coach Tunisia
07 Apr 08 |  African
Club Africain appoint new coach
28 Dec 05 |  African
Etoile ready for Mexican challenge
08 Dec 07 |  African
2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers
10 Apr 10 |  African

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