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Mercadal, Caen go their separate ways

Publish on 26/05/2019 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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Less than a year after arriving at SM Caen, coach Fabien Mercadal has left his position as head coach of the now-relegated Normandy club. Assistant coach Rolland Courbis has ruled out replacing him but may well stay at the club.

When SM Caen's survival hopes were snuffed out with a 1-0 defeat at home to Bordeaux on Friday night, Mercadal's fate was seemingly sealed, with the club announcing on Saturday that the coach's contract had been terminated by mutual consent.

"The Club would like to thank Fabien for his commitment and professionalism," read a statement on the club's official website. "Brought in in June 2018 to undertake a new sporting challenge, the coach faced what was a trying season with all the values that SM Caen holds dear. Humble and dedicated all season long, he will doubtless continue to embody those qualities in his future projects. The entirety of the club wishes Fabien all the very best for in his future career."

Courbis to stay?

Mercadal leaves the club with a league record of seven wins, 12 and 19 losses for 33 points, the club's lowest-ever total in Ligue 1 Conforama. Now fans are wondering who will take charge of the team as they prepare for the 2019-20 campaign in Domino's Ligue 2. While his case wasn't addressed in the club's statement, vastly experienced coach Rolland Courbis - who arrived at the club in February to assist Mercadal - will likely be a part of the picture.

"I never wanted to replace Fabien, and I maintain this position," Courbis, who has been head coach at Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Montpellier to game just a few, told radio station RMC. "I need to talk with the president to see what to do to make us all happy and to make it possible for me to lend a hand. If I can help the club get back to Ligue 1 Conforama - maybe even next season - that would be fantastic."