Puel appointed boss of struggling Saint-Etienne

Saint-Étienne (France) (AFP) –


Former Southampton and Leicester coach Claude Puel has been appointed Saint-Etienne boss after Ghislain Printant was suspended, the French outfit announced on Friday.

Puel, 58, who has signed a contract until 2022, returns to Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne sitting second from bottom of the table having won twice in eight matches.

He will take the helm before Sunday's derby against fierce rivals Lyon, whom he coached for three seasons after sells at Monaco and Lille.

"The local derby is not the be-all and end-all of what I do here," Puel warned ahead of what is often a bitterly contested match.

"The real job starts after that, I'm here for a (long term) project."

The Frenchman led Premier League side Southampton to a League Cup final and a record eighth-placed finish in 2017 before being sacked that June.

He took over at Leicester City in October 2017 but lost his job at the Foxes in February after less than two seasons in charge.

Saint-Etienne have lost four times so far this season, a series which includes a heavy 4-1 defeat to surprise package Angers a fortnight ago.

They are without a win in the Europa League with a defeat to Gent and a draw at home to Wolfsburg.