Antonio Ruiz of Deportes COPE reports that manager Quique Sanchez Flores is expected to last at Atlético through the week, though some club directors are pushing to oust him before Saturday’s game.
According to Ruiz, these Atleti officials would like for the new coach to begin working with the players right away in preparation for the weekend match against Valencia.
Milinko Pantić, according to COPE, is best positioned to assume the managerial role at the moment.
The Serbian Pantić serves as an Atlético youth coach after having spent three seasons as a creative midfielder with los Colchoneros, including the 1995-96 Liga and Copa del Rey double-winning season.
Despite leading the club to two titles in just his first year in charge, Quique’s league record at Atlético of 21 wins, 7 draws and 24 losses is the worst ever in the club’s history at 52 games.
After setting the objective of Champions League qualification at the start of the campaign, the team has crashed out of cup play and has tumbled all the way down to eighth in the league table at just past the mid-way point of the season.
The team sits 14 points adrift of their next opponent Valencia, who currently hold the Champions League playoff spot in fourth place in la Liga.
In addition to being unable to turn around the squad’s poor performances of late, Quique has reportedly lost control of the dressing room situation. Rumours have surfaced throughout the year suggesting that the Atleti boss has gotten into some heated exchanges with some of his players, most notably, star striker Diego Forlan.
Los Colchoneros are currently suffering their worst slump since April of last year, with four straight losses in all competitions in which we have been unable to score a single goal.
When asked by Spanish paper AS yesterday if sacking Quique is the best solution to resolve the present crisis, Rojiblanco president Enrique Cerezo claimed that the option hasn’t been proposed by anyone at the club.
“No one has considered whether Quique should continue or not,” he said. “What we have considered is that we have to start winning games right now.
“Atlético needs to start racking up points and we will do so against Valencia. It’s fundamental to win that game and surely everything will be looked upon in a much calmer light and we will have more confidence. The squad needs to win a match in order to gain confidence.
“Quique will remain in charge of the team.”
Do you think it’s time for a new coach, or do you think Quique should stay?