Posted: Friday September 20, 2013 11:34 AM

Menezes quits after another Flamengo loss

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SAO PAULO (AP) - Former Brazil coach Mano Menezes has resigned from Flamengo less than four months after joining the popular Brazilian club, saying he was not able to get the players to follow his methods.

Menezes' surprise announcement came after Flamengo relinquished a two-goal lead in a 4-2 loss to Atletico Paranaense at the Maracana Stadium late Wednesday.

The coach said players were not doing what he asked so he decided to leave to allow "Flamengo to go in another direction.''

Players and club directors said they were "caught by surprise'' by Menezes' decision.

Wednesday's loss at home left Flamengo in 15th place in the 20-team Brazilian league, just outside relegation zone.

Menezes' replacement has yet to be announced.

"We are closing a cycle of approximately four months and I feel that I can't relay to the group my views of how football needs to be played,'' Menezes said. "And when a coach is not able to do that, it's time to leave.''

Menezes was hired in June and coached Flamengo in 22 matches - winning nine, drawing six and losing seven. The five-time Brazilian champion had won only one of its last four matches.

"I was having to say the same things over and over again and kept making the same demands, but the team was not improving,'' he said. "Things were not progressing the way I expected them to progress.''

He said his decision was in the best interest of the club.

"I've never quit in my career, but I thought that it was the right thing to do so Flamengo can go in another direction, away from relegation zone and toward the top of the table,'' Menezes said.

Local media reported that some of the players tried to change the coach's mind in the locker room. Menezes asked them to respect his decision.

Club officials said they were still struggling to understand why Menezes quit.

"I was caught by surprise by Mano's decision,'' club director Paulo Pelaipe said. "We will need to have a longer conversation with him later. We were saddened by the coach's decision.''

Flamengo was yet to lose at the Maracana since the stadium was renovated. The team scored two goals in the first 10 minutes on Wednesday but allowed Atletico Paranaense, fourth in the standings, to fight back with a goal in the first half and three in the second. Young Spaniard midfielder Fran Merida scored Atletico's first goal.

Fans booed the team after the final whistle and some even stuck around to jeer players and Menezes as they left the stadium.

Flamengo was the first team Menezes coached since he was fired from the national team late in 2012. He took over Brazil after the 2010 World Cup but was fired after the president of the Brazilian football federation, Jose Maria Marin, said he didn't like the coach's methods. Menezes was replaced by World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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