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Ayestaran's dismal run with Las Palmas continues

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Ayestaran's dismal run with Las Palmas continues

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By Richard Martin BARCELONA (Reuters) – Las Palmas coach Pako Ayestaran was clinging to his job on Monday after his team’s 2-0 loss at Levante marked a sixth straight defeat in his first six games in charge. Ayestaran is one game away from equalling the club’s worst ever run of results under Frenchman Marcel Domingo in the 1959-60 season. Las Palmas stayed stuck to the bottom of the standings following their ninth consecutive league defeat in Sunday’s match, although they are only three points from escaping the relegation zone. Spanish media reported on Sunday that Ayestaran’s job with Las Palmas was not immediately under threat, however, and that he was expected to be in charge for Sunday’s trip to Real Sociedad. Ayestaran himself said he had no intention of resigning from his role with the club. “I would have to be dead in order to give up,” he told a news conference after his side conceded twice in the second half against Levante. “The result was unfair, I don’t think we deserved to lose this game. We are feeling very down, but we’re convinced we can get out of this.” Ayestaran also holds the record for the longest run of defeats for a coach in La Liga, losing 13 games in a row: the six losses with Las Palmas adding to seven straight defeats in last job with Valencia which lead to him being sacked in September 2016. The previous record for consecutive defeats was held by Jose Espada Virgos who lost 10 games on the trot with Alcoyano in the 1950-51 season. Ayestaran was Rafael Benitez’s assistant for 11 years, following the Spaniard to Osasuna, Extremadura, Tenerife, Valencia and Liverpool. He made his debut as a first team coach with Mexican side Tecos in 2013 before winning a domestic treble with Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2015. He succeeded Gary Neville as Valencia coach in March 2016 and quickly strung together three victories, including a shock 2-1 win at eventual champions Barcelona, before his record soured.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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