Valencia parts ways with manager Djukic

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Valencia, Spain ( - Valencia head coach Miroslav Djukic has been removed from his position after a disappointing start to the La Liga season, the club announced on Monday.

Djukic, 47, finally paid the price for overseeing a disappointing start to the campaign that has delivered only 20 points from 16 league games, culminating in Sunday's 3-0 defeat to league-leaders Atletico Madrid.

Djukic was replaced for this weekend's clash against Real Madrid by youth team coach Nico Estevez.

"I have not managed to put Valencia where I said when I arrived, so I'm the one to blame," Djukic said in a press conference.

Valencia were Spanish champions as recently as 2004 but have lost five of their last nine league games and sit ninth in the La Liga table ahead of Saturday's home meeting with Real Madrid.