Atletico Madrid boss Gregorio Manzano says he has no fear of losing his job, despite a run of four losses in seven games.
Manzano is readying his side to face Segunda B side Albacete in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, with Atletico trailing 2-1 after the first leg and league form casting a dark cloud over their coach’s future.
Many tipped Atletico to be fighting for the Champions League positions this campaign, but a dip in form has seen them slip to 10th, prompting Manzano to bat away questions about his future.
“I will answer your question (about being sacked) by repeating something I’ve said a few times. I feel stronger than ever and I believe that my obligation as a professional in this club is to maintain my emotional balance, so I can show my players that what their manager says and does has coherence,” Manzano said.
“I’ve been in this business for a long time and I have never let rumours intimidate me. (Wednesday) we have an important match that we want to win to get to the next phase. That’s my only concern. The rest, to be honest, does not worry me.”
“I’ve gone through very tough times, a lot tougher than this one. I’ve had losing streaks of five or six consecutive matches but then again I’ve also had winning streaks of seven consecutive matches.”
“I am firm and strong in my position and I hope that I continue to be the Atletico manager until June 30. That’s my objective and that’s why I was hired. I’ve never felt out of a job in this club.”
Atletico’s form in Europe has been decidedly better – they will play Lazio in the last 32 of the Europa League when the competition resumes in February after progressing top of Group I.