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‘Fed up’ Koeman hanging on to Barcelona job by a thread

Barcelona (AFP) – Embattled Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said he was “fed up” of having to defend himself amid reports that the Dutchman is on the brink of being sacked.

Koeman was roundly criticised in the wake of Barca’s 3-0 defeat at Benfica in the Champions League in midweek, a result that left the Catalans with no points and no goals after two group games in this season’s competition.

With Barcelona struggling in La Liga too, and Koeman’s relationship with president Joan Laporta frayed, his days at the Camp Nou appear numbered even if he remains in charge for Saturday’s trip to reigning champions Atletico Madrid.

“Nobody has said anything to me. The president was here but I haven’t seen him because we were preparing for tomorrow’s game,” Koeman said at a press conference on Friday.

“I am still here, but I have eyes and ears and a lot of things filter through.”

The former Everton and Netherlands coach refused to answer a question about his relationship with Laporta, simply saying: “I am still here.”

As well as struggling in Europe since Lionel Messi departed, Barca are sixth in La Liga, five points behind leaders Real Madrid albeit with a game in hand.

“I am not the most important. A positive result is more important than one person. Everyone knows I am here out of love for the club. I came in a very complicated situation,” added Koeman, Barcelona’s match-winner as a player in the 1992 European Cup final.

“I am fed up of having to defend myself. It makes no sense. Today is not the time, but one day I would like to talk all about what I think of all this.”

When asked by one journalist what had been his best and worst moment in charge at the Camp Nou since arriving just over a year ago, Koeman replied: “The best moment? When I signed to become Barca coach. The worst moment? When Messi left.”

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