Real Madrid icon Guti dismissed by Almeria following blow to promotion hopes

Omnisport

Guti's first head coach role away from Real Madrid has ended abruptly after Almeria confirmed he has been dismissed following a potentially decisive blow to the Segunda side's automatic promotion hopes.

The former Madrid midfielder and youth coach was appointed by Almeria in November and, although he kept them in the hunt for promotion, the club's hierarchy lost patience following Thursday's 1-0 home defeat to Alcorcon.

Club owner Turki Al-Sheikh, who has overseen the assembly of an expensive squad compared to others in Spain's second tier, had already fired Oscar Fernandez and Pedro Emanuel this season prior to hiring Guti.

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A brief statement read: "Jose Maria Gutierrez ceases to be our coach after reaching a mutual agreement with the club.

"Thank you very much Jose Maria for all your efforts and for your dedication to our colours. We wish you every possible success in your career."

Thursday's loss left Almeria five points adrift of second-placed Real Zaragoza, who they defeated at La Romareda last Saturday between successive home losses.

Almeria have seven matches remaining to salvage an automatic promotion spot, otherwise the best they can hope for will be a play-off place.

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