December 20, 2017 / 8:19 PM / a month ago

Bottom club Swansea sack manager Clement

LONDON (Reuters) - Swansea City sacked manager Paul Clement on Wednesday with the former Real Madrid assistant coach paying the price for a dismal start to the season.

Clement had been at Swansea for less than a year but leaves, along with his assistants, with the Welsh club rooted to the bottom of the table.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said on the club’s website that changing managers at the halfway point of the season was “the last thing we wanted to do as a club.”

Jenkins added: ”We had three different managers last season and as a result we all wanted to give Paul as much time as possible to turn things around.

“But we felt we couldn’t leave it any longer and needed to make a change to give us the best chance of an uplift and a turnaround in fortunes with the club bottom of the Premier League.”

Clement’s assistants, Nigel Gibbs and Karl Halabi, depart with the manager who orchestrated Swansea’s escape from relegation last season after he took over in January following the dismissal of American Bob Bradley.

Clement, who worked with some of the biggest teams in Europe as assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris St Germain, took over with Swansea bottom of the table.

He oversaw a remarkable turnaround with four wins from his first six games and four wins and a draw in the last five games of the season to finish the campaign in 15th place, seven points clear of relegation.

Yet after surviving, Swansea sold their best player Gylfi Sigurdsson in August and have struggled without him this term, winning just three of 18 league matches.

“Paul has been at the club for 12 months and what he achieved in the second half of last season to keep us in the top flight was a tremendous feat,” said Jenkins.

“For that, and his effort and commitment this season, it goes without saying that the club thanks him for his work, together with Nigel and Karl.”

The club said they will give Swansea supporters an update regarding Clement’s replacements within the next 24 hours.

Reporting by Ian Chadband and Neville Dalton; Editing by Toby Davis

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