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La Liga's longest-serving manager leaves the Barcelona-based club after an abysmal start to the season left the side bottom of the league with just nine points from 13 games

Mauricio Pochettino has left Espanyol after a 2-0 defeat by Getafe on Sunday left his side facing the increasing prospect of a relegation battle in Spain's top flight.

The 40-year old was relieved of his duties following a third consecutive loss, and although Pochettino was a favourite with the fans after appearing over 300 times for Periquitos, the club's poor performances made the mind up of club chairman, Joan Collet.

"We have reached an agreement to terminate the contracts of Mauricio Pochettino and the sporting director Roman Planes," he said in a press conference.

"It is not easy but it is the best decision for the club."

Despite the bond between Pochettino and the side's fans, the former defender admitted that it was the correct time to leave the Estadi Cornella-El Prat.

"We made the decision because we believe that it will have a positive effect on the club," he said.

"Because I have spent years here, played here and coached here, my feelings towards the club are very strong. I put all my hope, my strength and my desire into this club.

"I have enjoyed my time here but I have spent many years in the world of football and I know that every coach has an expiration date. I sincerely hope that things will be different because this group of people deserve it."

He concluded: "I want to thank Collet and everyone who worked with me. I also thank the fans, they deserve more than this."

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