Abelardo named new Espanyol coach until end of the season

The former Barça player takes over at the team bottom of La Liga with domestic survival as the top priority

Abelardo Fernández has been named the new manager of RCD Espanyol (by Espanyol)
Abelardo Fernández has been named the new manager of RCD Espanyol (by Espanyol) / Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | Barcelona

December 27, 2019 06:52 PM

Espanyol have hired Abelardo Fernández as their third permanent manager this season and has been given a contract until the end of the current campaign. The ex Barça centre back takes over at the side bottom of the La Liga table after Pablo Machín was sacked with just one win in ten league matches. 

With the season soon to reach the halfway point, Espanyol are in crisis mode, rooted to the foot of the table and now on their third manager of the season following the dismissals of David Gallego in October and Pablo Machín just before Christmas.

Abelardo’s first task will be to take on neighbours and league leaders FC Barcelona in the upcoming Catalan derby on January 4. The manager’s most recent job was a relatively successful stint at Deportivo Alavés, where he managed for two seasons, finishing in mid-table each time round. 

Despite the torrid domestic season, Espanyol have been enjoying success on the European stage this campaign, a competition they are playing in for the first time in over a decade. 

After winning their group, they’ve been drawn against the Premier League’s Wolverhampton Wanderers in the first knockout stage, with the first leg taking place on February 20.