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East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez quits

Kolkata: East Bengal head coach Alejandro Menendez on Tuesday stepped down from his post citing “personal reasons” less than 48 hours after his team lost the I-League derby 1-2 to archrivals Mohun Bagan.

The Spaniard faced a lot of criticism after East Bengal had a hat-trick of defeats but the one against Mohun Bagan was the final nail in Alejandro’s coffin.

East Bengal currently have eight points from seven matches. Mohun Bagan on the other hand lead the standings with 17 points from eight matches.

With Mohun Bagan merging with ATK from next season, the Sunday’s clash was their penultimate derby exchange in the I-League era as the defeat proved to be the last straw.

“The head coach has expressed his desire to relocate to his home country Spain for personal reasons. He will step down with immediate effect,” East Bengal stated in a release.

Under the former Real Madrid Castilla coach, East Bengal finished runners-up in 2018-19 and were third in the Calcutta Football League Premier Division as the red-and-gold had a trophy-less season and failed to win their elusive title in the I-League.

“I am happy for the progress the club has made during my tenure as the head coach and I wish to see the new leadership to take this progress to the next level. I enjoyed my duration with the club and wish the team and the fans all the best,” Menendez said after his exit.

In his absence, the other coaching staff will continue to train the team until a new head coach is appointed. East Bengal will play Chennai City in an away match on Saturday.

Commenting on the Spaniard’s exit, East Bengal investors Quess Corp CEO Subrata Nag said, “We admire the leadership of the coach and the significant professional changes he brought at QEBFC in such a short period of time. He has lead the team in right direction, and we thank the coach for his contribution to the club and wish him much success for the future.”

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