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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct 19, 2008

Frankfurt stand by under pressure Funkel

Eintracht Frankfurt will keep the faith with coach Friedhelm Funkel despite extending their winless start to the Bundesliga season to seven games.

Fans at the Waldstadion renewed their calls for Friedhelm to be sacked as Frankfurt lost 2-0 against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

That result leaves Frankfurt rock bottom of the table, but club president Heribert Bruchhagen insisted he will stick with his coach.

Funkel is the league's second longest-serving manager behind Werder Bremen's Thomas Schaaf and Bruchhagen will give him the chance to put things right.

"The 'Funkel-out' calls are born of frustration," said Bruchhagen. "That does not mean that we have to act. We are working together with trust and we are not setting any ultimatum."

Nevertheless, Bruchhagen admitted that the situation is precarious and a further defeat against Karlsruhe in midweek would not help Funkel, who remains defiant.

"I feel strong enough to get out of the mire," said Funkel. "I am a positive-thinking person and am sure we will win our game in hand against Karlsruhe on Wednesday."

Saturday's win lifted Leverkusen up to third in the Bundesliga, just one point behind the joint leaders Hoffenheim and Hamburg.

Coach Bruno Labbadia admitted it was one of his side's worst performances of the season, but while his side had lost games they had played well earlier in the year, he welcomed this fortunate three points as means of compensation.

"I am not too bothered by it - the important thing is that we win games like this when we are not playing well," he said.

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