Valencia sack coach Miroslav Djukic after six months in charge

Valencia have sacked Serbian coach Miroslav Djukic after just six months at the helm of the Spanish club.

The six-time La Liga champions are currently ninth in the table after a mixed start to the current campaign.

Los Che are 10 points behind Athletic Bilbao, who occupy the fourth Champions League spot, after Sunday's 3-0 defeat at second-placed Atletico Madrid.

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This is a day that personally I would have preferred never to see arrive

Amadeo Salvo Valencia president

"As is normal for a professional I don't agree with the board's decision but I respect it," said Djukic.

"I wish them all the possible luck and urge unity so the club can move forward."

Former Valencia defender Djukic, 47, was appointed in June to replace Ernesto Valverde.

The ex-Yugoslavia international spent six seasons at the Mestalla as a player and had further stints in La Liga with Deportivo La Coruna and Tenerife.

As a coach, he helped Real Valladolid win promotion back to the Spanish top flight in the 2011-12 season. Valladolid finished in 14th place last term before Djukic announced his return to Valencia.

Los Che sporting director Francisco Joaquin Perez Rufete said reserve team coach Nico Estevez would take charge until the club found a permanent successor.

"This is a day that personally I would have preferred never to see arrive," added Valencia president Amadeo Salvo.

Despite their mixed league results, Djukic had guided the two-time Champions League runners-up into the last 32 of this season's Europa League.

They will play Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev in the knockout phase after Monday's draw.