Koeman quits following Ajax's Uefa Cup exit

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The Independent Football

Ronald Koeman has resigned as coach of Ajax, citing Thursday night's Uefa Cup elimination at the hands of Auxerre as the key factor behind his decision.

Ronald Koeman has resigned as coach of Ajax, citing Thursday night's Uefa Cup elimination at the hands of Auxerre as the key factor behind his decision.

The Amsterdam side lost 3-2 on aggregate in France after a late goal from the Auxerre substitute Lionel Mathis, and on the domestic front they lie eight points behind the Eredivisie leaders, PSV Eindhoven.

In a statement released by Ajax, Koeman, the former Barcelona and Netherlands defender, said: "I've asked the board and management to immediately end the co-operation. I can no longer summon up the strength and the energy to get over this and to make the team perform better. If I am not completely motivated and driven, I cannot and should not stay as trainer at Ajax. After three years and three months, our successful collaboration comes to an end. I have to be honest to myself and Ajax. The result of [Thursday] evening was decisive."

In Italy, Milan, top of the table and in buoyant mood after beating Manchester United in the Champions' League in midweek, take on Internazionale, unbeaten in 25 Serie A matches, in the Milan derby tomorrow.

Despite Inter's record, however, they trail Milan and their co-leaders Juventus by 11 points having drawn 16 matches this season and winning just nine.

Roberto Mancini, the Inter coach, will have to decide whether to start Adriano in a team with Obafemi Martins or Christian Vieri. Milan, without their injured strikers Andriy Shevchenko and Pippo Inzaghi, will rely on Hernan Crespo, who has scored nine Serie A goals this season.

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