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Struggling Hebei announce Coleman departure

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Struggling Hebei announce Coleman departure
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Reading vs Sunderland - Madejski Stadium, Reading, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sunderland manager Chris Coleman before the match Action Images/Peter Cziborra   -   Copyright  PETER CZIBORRA(Reuters)
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HONGKONG (Reuters) – Chris Coleman’s reign as head coach of Hebei CFFC was brought to an end on Wednesday when the Chinese Super League club announced the Welshman’s departure on social media.

Coleman, who led Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, becomes the first coach to be fired in the 2019 campaign in China with Hebei languishing in the relegation zone after picking up just one win so far this season.

The 48-year-old leaves the role less than a year after being appointed to replace Manuel Pellegrini, who departed to take over at West Ham United, but the former Sunderland and Fulham manager has struggled since his arrival in China.

It took Coleman six games to register his first win and he oversaw a sixth-place finish in last year’s Chinese Super League, a disappointing result for a club that just missed out on a place in the Asian Champions League the previous season.

Hebei’s form since the start of the current campaign plummeted further, with fans calling for Coleman’s removal as his side won just once since the start of the season.

Hebei are currently 15th place in the 16-team league with just five points from nine games after losing to Henan Jianye at the weekend having also exited the Chinese FA Cup at the hands of Chongqing Lifan at the start of May.

In total, Hebei won just seven times in 30 attempts under the Welshman, who has been replaced on an interim basis by caretaker coach Xie Feng.

Xie will oversee the team’s next fixture on Sunday against Tianjin Teda.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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