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Lausanne continue hunt for new coach

Lausanne Sport attracted the attention of foreign clubs with their impressive UEFA Cup run this season. Keystone / Fabrice Coffrini

Lausanne-Sports are continuing their search for a new manager, following the disappointment of seeing two top coaches reject their overtures.

On Wednesday, the respected French coach, Alain Giresse, who has been out of work since being dismissed by Toulouse in October, said he would not be coming to Switzerland.

His decision followed a similar rejection by Henri Stambouli, who has helped Lausanne rivals, Sion, return to the top flight.

Commentators have suggested that the dominant role played by the club president, Waldemar Kita, is putting off potential candidates.

Would-be managers could also be concerned that some of Lausanne’s better players may not be at the Pontaise for much longer, having attracted the attention of foreign clubs during Lausanne’s impressive UEFA Cup run this season.

The talented Argentinian goalscorer, Javier Mazzoni, has already left, while question marks hang over the future of his erstwhile Polish striking partner, Marcin Kuzba, and midfield playmaker, Massimo Lombardo.

Nevertheless, the new manager, when he finally takes over, will be in a relatively strong position. Despite a lacklustre first half of the season, which saw former manager Pierre-André Schürmann shown the door last month, Lausanne sit in fourth place, just three points behind league leaders, Lugano.

Their confidence has also been buoyed by a UEFA Cup run, which saw them beat Ajax Amsterdam and Torpedo Moscow and put up a spirited but ultimately unsuccessful fight against the French league leaders, Nantes.

In an interview with the French-language newspaper, Le Matin, Lausanne’s sporting director, Christian Larièpe, said that there were a number of Swiss trainers being considered for the job. These include Guy Mathez, Umberto Barberis and Jochen Dries.

He said French coaches were also being assessed. These include the former manager of Metz, Joël Müller, and Philippe Bergeroo, formerly of Paris-St.Germain.

“But we don’t want another refusal,” Larièpe told Le Matin.

It is unlikely that a new manager will have been found by the start of pre-season training on Monday. That will be organised by interim coach, Radu Nunweiler.

But Larièpe says he is confident the new man will be in place by January 18, when the squad travels to the Caribbean to play friendly matches against the national teams of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti.

Lausanne’s next competitive match will be against Neuchatel Xamax in the Swiss Cup on February 17 or 18.

by Roy Probert

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR