Olabe appointed Almeria coach

MADRID - Almeria have appointed Roberto Olabe as coach until the end of the season to replace the sacked Jose Luis Oltra as they try to avoid relegation, the Spanish club said on Tuesday.

With eight games left, the Andalusians, who play at La Liga leaders Barcelona on Saturday, are bottom of the standings with 26 points from 30 matches and lost

3-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

A former goalkeeper with Alaves, Salamanca and Real Sociedad, Basque Olabe, 43, was sporting director at Almeria in the 2006/07 season, helping them gain promotion to the top flight.

"Olabe is a hard-working and methodical coach who knows the club and the team perfectly," Almeria said in a statement on their website.

Oltra was appointed at the end of November to replace the sacked Juan Manuel Lillo and led the club to the semi-finals of the King's Cup, their best-ever showing.