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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 9 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 10, 2006

Bianchi determined to tough it out at Atletico

MADRID, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Argentine coach Carlos Bianchi is determined to tough it out at Atletico Madrid despite heavy criticism from a section of the club's fans following the team's nine-match winless streak in the league.

'I've never experienced anything like this as a coach,' Bianchi was quoted as saying by sports daily Marca on Tuesday. 'But I've got a contract, I'm a professional and I will keep working hard every day as I have always done.'

Fans called for the sacking of the former Boca Juniors coach after Atletico's 0-0 draw against Valencia on Sunday, but Bianchi said he disagreed with their verdict on the team's performance.

'I respect the opinion of the fans, but I think we played well against one of the best sides in the league. I think we got our tactics right.'

The result left Atletico in 12th place in the table and just four points above the relegation zone, a disappointing position for a team that was expected to challenge for a Champions League spot this season.

Atletico's next outing is in a rescheduled match against Real Zaragoza in the first leg of a King's Cup last 16 tie on Wednesday. The original match was postponed when 14 members of the squad went down with a stomach bug.

Bianchi, who led former club Boca to success in three Libertadores Cups and two World Club Cups, said the King's Cup might provide the only chance of salvaging something from a disappointing season.

'The Cup could provide us with our best chance of success in what has been a poor year,' he said.