Claude Le Roy replaces Tom Saintfiet as new Togo manager

LOME, Togo -- Togo have replaced head coach Tom Saintfiet with Claude Le Roy as they struggle to qualify for next year's African Nations Cup.

Saintfiet left after an amicable agreement, the Togo Football Federation said, after less than a year in the job. Le Roy, an experienced coach in African football, has a contract until 2019.

Le Roy will attempt to revive Togo's hopes of making it to Gabon next year, but said that would be a difficult task with the team third in its qualifying group with two games to go. Only the top team qualifies automatically.

The 2019 African Cup might be a more realistic goal, Le Roy told Togolese radio.

"My duty as a coach is to find solutions, including leading the team to Gabon, but ultimately we will focus on preparing the players for 2019," he said following his appointment late Wednesday.

Frenchman Le Roy has coached extensively in Africa, winning the 1988 ANC with Cameroon. He had two stints with Cameroon and also was head coach of Senegal, Congo and Ghana. The 68-year-old Le Roy's last job was with Republic of Congo, which he led to the quarterfinals at the 2015 African Cup in Equatorial Guinea.