Football

Under-pressure Koeman refuses to take questions

Barcelona's under-pressure coach Ronald Koeman delivered a bizarre press conference yesterday as he read a prepared statement before leaving without answering questions.

The Dutchman is in a fragile position, after Barca followed up a 3-0 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week with a 1-1 draw at home to Granada in La Liga, with the team's tactics and style coming under scrutiny.

Reading from a piece of paper at the press conference, Koeman said: "Hello everyone. The club with me as coach is in a situation of rebuilding.

"The financial situation of the club is connected to the sporting activities and vice-versa. This means we as a team have to rebuild the team without being able to make any big financial investments.

"This needs time."

He went on to say that it's not the first time in Barca's history that they need to rebuild and that the club's youngsters could become stars like Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta if they are given time.

Barca, who face Cadiz tomorrow morning (Singapore time), are eighth in La Liga with two wins and two draws. Their poor start has led to the likes of Xavi, Roberto Martinez and Antonio Conte being mentioned as possible replacements for Koeman.

Meanwhile, La Liga holders Atletico Madrid moved top of the table after a 2-1 comeback win over 10-man Getafe. Luis Suarez scored twice, including the injury-time winner. - AFP

Football