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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April, 2003, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
Tigana exits Fulham
Jean Tigana
Tigana took over in July 2000

Fulham manager Jean Tigana has left the club and will be replaced by Chris Coleman until the end of the season.

Tigana was told by the club in March that his contract would not be renewed in the summer but they have decided to ask the Frenchman to step down with immediate effect.

"Since the announcement that Jean's contract would not be renewed next season, the club has suffered a number of significant defeats," said a statement on the club's website.

"It has been decided that a change in management is necessary to enable the players to focus their attentions on securing the club's safety in the Premiership."

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Fulham currently lie 15th in the Premiership, six points away from the bottom three.

Following successive defeats to Manchester United and Blackburn earlier this month, Tigana called a crisis meeting with his players in a bid to boost morale.

However, they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at the weekend and were grateful to an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Maik Taylor which kept the score to a minimum.

The season has not ended the way that I would have liked
Fulham chairman
Mohamed Al Fayed

Fulham face Newcastle at home on Saturday, before trips to Newcastle and Chelsea and another home game against Everton.

Their final game of the season pits them against Charlton at The Valley.

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed admitted he has been disappointed with the team's performances this season.

"It has been a difficult time for us over recent months and the season has not ended the way that I would have liked," he said.

"However, the most important thing is that we ensure a successful conclusion and look forward to next season in the Premiership."

Former Fulham defender Chris Coleman, who recently moved into a coaching role at the club, will take charge of the team for the last five matches of the season.

We have enough quality in the squad to stay in the Premiership
Caretaker boss Chris Coleman

"We have enough quality in the Fulham squad to enable us to stay in the Premiership and the foundations are in place for us to build and come back stronger next season," said Coleman.

"The events of the last few months have been difficult, but we have to put them behind us and remain fully committed to the future of the club."

Coleman recently stated that he would not be interested in taking the job on a permanent basis.

The former Welsh international captained Fulham in their successful promotion season from Division One.

However, he suffered serious leg injuries in a horrific car crash in 2001 and, despite regaining full fitness, was unable to recover his best form.

Coleman was forced to retire from the game in October 2002.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Mike Sewell
"Tigana's departure has been brought forward"


Former Chelsea coach Graham Rix
"I'd be keen on the post"


FULHAM


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