Liaoning turn to French coach Rene Lobello to rescue Chinese Super League season after Ma Lin resignation
Former Asian champions moved out of the relegation zone at the weekend with 1-0 win over Changchun Yatai
Former Asian champions Liaoning have turned to French coach Rene Lobello to rescue their season Chinese Super League season after former player Ma Lin resigned due to health problems.
Liaoning beat Changchun Yatai 1-0 on Sunday thanks to a goal from new signing Christian Bekamenga to record just their fourth win of the season and end a run of seven straight defeats, which lifted the 1990 Asian Club Championship winners out of the relegation zone by a point.
But despite the win, Liaoning confirmed the news on Tuesday with 54-year-old Ma taking up the position of technical director within the club.
“Ma Lin resigned due to health problems and we have agreed to his request,” said Liaoning of their former player, who was in the side which lifted China’s last continental title before Guangzhou Evergrande ended a 23-year wait by winning the AFC Champions League crown in 2013.
“We are trying very hard to avoid relegation and Ma Lin had been working under huge pressure and his energy is severely consumed.
OFFICIAL: Liaoning have appointed French coach Rene Lobello as their new headcoach to replace Ma Lin. pic.twitter.com/ibQWzfqigV
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“After the game against Changchun, he felt it impossible to hang on and resigned from the club. Considering his health problems, we decided to agree to his request.
“We are grateful for what he has done. Ma Lin has achieved a lot with Liaoning and he saved the team many times.”
Lobello returns to China having worked as an assistant to Francis Gillot at Shanghai Shenhua during the 2015 season.
“Rene is a very experienced coach,” added the Liaoning statement, with Lobello having also previously worked in his native France, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Switzerland and Algeria.
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“He’s full of modern football ideas. He used to be the head coach of Sochaux during 2007-2008 when the team was placed last when he took over and at the end of the season they successfully avoided relegation and he was acknowledged widely in France.
“We hope we can achieve our goal this year under Rene and we hope everything will be fine.”
Watch: Liaoning 1-0 Changchun Yatai