Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bulgaria boss quits amid disarray

Stanimir Stoilov
Stoilov was in his second spell as Bulgaria manager

Stanimir Stoilov has resigned as Bulgaria coach after back to back defeats in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

And the 43-year-old believes captain Stilian Petrov could follow him in quitting international football.

Bulgaria's hopes of reaching Euro 2012 are in tatters after following Friday's 4-0 defeat by England with a 1-0 loss at home to Montenegro on Tuesday.

Stoilov said: "Stilian might quit. I hope he'll change his mind and I want Dimitar Berbatov back. We need them."

Without Manchester United striker Berbatov, who announced his international retirement in May, Bulgaria lacked a cutting edge against both England and Montenegro, the two sides at the top of Group G with six points from their two games.

We lost and our chances of progressing are disappearing. Losing to Montenegro was too much

Stanimir Stoilov

After Elsad Zverotic's 35th-minute strike condemned his side to defeat on Tuesday Stoilov admitted that qualification for the finals in Poland and Ukraine was unlikely with Bulgaria bottom of the table with six games remaining.

"This was my last game as coach of Bulgaria," added Stoilov, who took the post in May 2009 following Plamen Markov's sacking.

"We lost and our chances of progressing are disappearing. Losing to Montenegro was too much."

Losing Aston Villa midfielder Petrov would be a further blow in a qualifying campaign sporting director Nasko Sirakov has already branded a "tragedy".

Sirakov has also hinted that he too might resign, saying: "I came to help the lads and the team but it seems that I didn't cope with my task. I don't think I'll continue my work."

Another problem for the Bulgarian Football Association could be the timescale within which it has to appointing a new manager, with a trip to face Wales looming on 8 October.

"We don't have much time as we meet," conceded Bulgarian FA president Borislav Mihaylov.

"It's too early to say who'll replace Stoilov, we may appoint someone on a temporary basis.

"It's not a good idea to appoint a foreign coach - we can't afford a famous foreign coach and look what happened with Russia, they have a very expensive coach [Dick Advocaat] but still they're losing at home [Russia being beaten 1-0 by Slovenia]."

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