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Job-threatened Koeman ‘wants to continue’ as Barca boss

Madrid (AFP) – Ronald Koeman said on Friday he “wants to continue” as Barcelona coach next season but acknowledges his fate lies in the hands of club president Joan Laporta.

The Camp Nou axe appears to be hovering over the Dutch manager according to the Catalan press whose successes – including winning round Lionel Messi as well as lifting the Copa del Rey and overseeing a year of transition – may not save him from the sack.

“I haven’t yet spoken with the president, we said we’d talk when the season finished,” Koeman told a press conference ahead of Barca’s final match at Eibar on Saturday and no longer in the title reckoning.

“No doubt we’ll speak after tomorrow.

“I’ve told him that I want to continue and see out the end of my contract but it’s the president who has the last word.”

With Barca’s title challenge petering out limply the trip to the Basque Country’s insignificance is underlined by Messi being given the day off and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen using the week to have knee surgery.

Koeman accepts recent results have cast “doubt” over his future.

“I’ve always been straight,” he said.

“I’ve been the club’s only spokesperson for long periods this season. We should communicate more.

“There should be more respect for the coach, the players. I understand how it can effect the players because they don’t deserve the treatment they’ve been dished out in the media over the past few days.”

Reflecting on his season helm Koeman said he would have taken how it had panned out back in August.

“We won a trophy, we were in the fight for the league until the last two games.

“We’re sad because there were some matches where we weren’t at our level. But overall, given all the problems we had, it wasn’t a bad season.

“It wasn’t very good either, but as far as I’m concerned it was acceptable.”

Then in a frank assessment of his own qualities he conceded: “I don’t think I’m the best manager for this club, there are those who are better.

“It all comes down to the confidence you get from the players. I feel I’m a competent person to run this club.”

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