Koeman admits to being "unpopular" at Valencia
Valencia coach Ronald Koeman admitted on Tuesday evening that he was now "more unpopular" with the fans than when he took over at the club.
2 January 2008
MADRID - Valencia coach Ronald Koeman admitted on Tuesday evening that he was now "more unpopular" with the fans than when he took over at the crisis club two months ago.
Koeman told the digital version of Marca that his controversial decision, taken two weeks ago, to axe veterans Santiago Canizares, David Albelda and Miguel Angel Angulo had made him a target with the fans, with graffiti criticising him appearing throughout the city.
"Clearly I am more unpopular with some people," he told Marca, "though with other people maybe not. This is part of taking decisions. If I didn't have this strength to decide things then I cannot be the coach of a big club."
"What we have to do now," Koeman added, "is not talk any more about this subject, but rather work, play well and win matches."
When asked for a New Year's wish, the Dutch coach asked for "tranquillity to work ... in order to put the team back where it should be."
Valencia have slumped to seventh in La Liga in recent weeks, and have also crashed out of Europe since Koeman's arrival in November.
When asked about winter signings, he said that "everybody knows that Valencia is looking for players to improve the squad ... I don't want to mention names, I don't want to start rumours every day."
Valencia are close to signing 19-year-old attacking midfielder Ever Banega from Argentine giants Boca Juniors.
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Spanish news