Sparta Prague have thrown Karel Poborsky out of their squad, as they look to ease tension between the coach and players.

The 33-year-old former midfielder has angered the club’s owners by criticising the way coach Jaroslav Hrebik has been doing his job.

Sparta axed Poborsky after he quit as club captain before a Czech Cup third-round match on Wednesday.

“I personally feel sorry about the decision. The team stood behind me but the captain must be an extended arm of the coach,” Poborsky told Czech daily Sport.

Sparta’s owners have stood by Hrebik despite a modest start to the season. The team have won just one of their last four league matches.