Former Barcelona defender back as La Liga boss

Abelardo Fernandez during the match between RCD Espanyol and Atletico de Madrid, corresponding to the week 26 of the Liga Santander, played at the RCDE Stadium, 01st March 2020, in Barcelona, Spain.

Former Barcelona defender Abelardo Fernandez has been appointed as Alaves boss for the second time to replace the dismissed Pablo Machin.

Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Cadiz proved to be Machin’s final game at the helm, leaving the Basque club languishing in 16th spot in the standings with 18 points from their opening 18 games and with just one victory from their last seven in La Liga.

Abelardo has signed a contract for the remainder of the campaign at Mendizorrotza and is tasked with maintaining their top flight status.

Abelardo took over at Alaves in December 2017 and had worked wonders at the Vitoria-based club, initially leading them to safety before an 11th-place finish in the 2018/19 campaign.

Alaves were holding a top five spot until November and were challenging for a European place until early spring, and only slipped out of the top half of the table on the final day.

The 50-year-old has also had stints in charge of Sporting Gijon and Espanyol.

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