Scott Parker out as coach of Club Brugge after CL exit

Wed, Mar 8, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

Scott Parker out as coach of Club Brugge after CL exit

BRUGGE, Belgium (AP) - Scott Parker has been fired by Club Brugge after less than three months in charge of the Belgian champions in the wake of Tuesday's 5-1 loss at Benfica in the Champions League.

In 12 matches with Brugge, Parker managed just two wins. Brugge lost both matches against Benfica in the Champions League's last 16, exiting the tournament 7-1 on aggregate.

In a brief statement, the club did not immediately announce a replacement for the former Bournemouth manager, who had been hired on Dec. 31 following the departure of Carl Hoefkens.

When he was hired, the 42-year-old Parker had been out of work since being fired by Bournemouth in August, having voiced his unhappiness regarding the Premier League club's approach in the transfer market.

Placed in a tough Champions League group, Brugge was one of the surprises of the group stage, finishing second to Porto and ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid to advance to the the last 16 of the competition for the first time in three decades.

But the team was then caught in a domestic downward spiral that started in November and has yet to be stopped.

In fact, Brugge plunged deeper into crisis under Parker, who acknowledged that his job was in jeopardy after the "humbling defeat" against Benfica.

"For me it's been challenging, but the players have been brilliant and wanting to do everything they can to turn this around," he said. "I understand people now doubt (me), I'm not naive enough to not (think that). All I can say is that I'm trying to turn this around and create a team that will start winning again."

Brugge won the Belgian league title for the third season in a row in May, and the 18th time overall. It stands fourth in the standings ahead of Sunday's match against Standard, 21 points behind leader Genk.

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