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Legwinski happy with Coleman sacking

last updated Friday 13th April 2007, 7:42 AM
  Sylvain Legwinski  
Sylvain Legwinski

Former Fulham captain Sylvain Legwinski declared sacking Chris Coleman "was the best thing that could have happened" to the club - and insists the Cottagers went "backwards" under his management.

Coleman, 36, was axed earlier this week with the west-London club just four points above the relegation zone following an alarming slip down the Barclays Premiership table.

Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez has been brought in to take charge for the final five matches of the season.

Former Wales defender Coleman, whose playing career had ended prematurely following an horrific car crash six years ago, was promoted to the Craven Cottage hotseat after a successful caretaker spell when Jean Tigana left in April 2003.

Despite Coleman often gaining praise for keeping Fulham in the top flight on a limited budget compared to that afforded his predecessor, Legwinski believes the axe should have been wielded much earlier.

The midfielder left the club during the summer after falling out of favour with Coleman and joined Coca-Cola Championship side Ipswich, but is currently out injured.

Legwinski is in no doubt where the blame for the demise of the Cottagers' fortunes lies.

"Sacking Coleman was the best thing that could have happened to Fulham," Legwinski told the London Evening Standard.

"The only question is about the timing because it should have happened much earlier. It should have been done two years ago. I hope it is not too late."

The former Monaco midfielder, 33, added: "The club have gone backwards under him. This season was the first where it could be truly called his team as there was no one left from the Jean Tigana era.

"They are doing badly and it is sad to see where they are now, but in truth Fulham were lucky not to be in the relegation zone for the last two years and that is because of Coleman.

"It took him two years to realise how physical preparation in pre-season is vital in the Premiership.

"The work was different when Tigana was in charge. It was more intense - but under Coleman the training sessions were shorter, he did not work us as hard and we were given more days off.

"I found it very strange because I wanted to work harder and the players lacked fitness.

"But no one senior in the club was keeping an eye on him or seemed to know what it takes to run a football team."

Source Jim van Wijk at PA Sport
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