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By ESPN Staff

Ten Cate leaves Panathinaikos

Coach Henk ten Cate has parted company with Greek giants Panathinaikos and will be replaced by Greece Under-21 coach Nikos Nioplias.

The 54-year-old Dutchman, who took charge of the Super League club in June 2008, will leave the club after agreeing to end his contract by mutual consent. Ten Cate's exit comes after the Athens club had won ten of their 13 league matches this season, which sees them just one point behind leaders Olympiacos.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Panathinaikos announces that following a meeting between the chairman, Mr Nikolaos Pateras and the coach of the team, Henk ten Cate, that they have agreed to end the collaboration.''

Despite the fact the club are well-placed in their bid to win a first league title since 2004, Ten Cate has been criticised by sections of the Pana supporters and the media for his perceived constant tinkering with players and formations.

"It was an honour for me to coach Panathinaikos and the results we had backed up my work," said Ten Cate in a statement. "I have laid the foundations for the team. I respect the fact that certain people can not be pleased with the complete picture but myself and the staff gave everything to be successful.

"The decision of chairman will not influence the friendship we developed. Finally, I would like to thank all the fans of Panathinaikos for their support and I hope that the team wins the title.''

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