Athletic axe Sarriugarte

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Athletic Bilbao have sacked coach Felix Sarriugarte after a board meeting on Monday.

The Basque club's top-brass met to discuss their side's woeful recent form which sees them currently sitting third bottom of La Liga.

Ultimately they decided to call time on Sarriugarte who only took charge in the summer.

Sunday's 3-1 home defeat by Sevilla was the final straw with Athletic having failed to win in six league outings and having taken just three points out of the last 18 on offer.

Indeed, Sarriugarte managed just one victory from the 14 competitive games for which he was in charge after replacing Javier Clemente.

A statement of the club's official website read: "The Athletic board have decided in their meeting today to replace first-team manager Felix Sarriugarte."

Former boss Luis Fernandez has been linked with the top job at the San Mames, although ex-Alaves boss 'Mane' - full name Jose Manuel Esnal - is thought to be the club's preferred option.

Meanwhile, the club have been dealt an injury blow with the news that young defender Ustaritz Aldekoaotalora faces a month and a half on the sidelines.

The stopper tore a muscle in his left thigh during the defeat to Sevilla and will now be out of action until the New Year.