‘I’m still here’ -pressure Koeman tired of defending himself

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman opened his pre-match press conference on Friday by quoting ex-Barca coach Louis van Gaal’s goodbye speech before later stating “I’m still here”.

“I am going to remember a phrase from Van Gaal,” the 58-year-old told reporters.

“‘Good morning to my friends from the press.

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“How nice that one. Let’s go.”

Asked how he was feeling ahead of Barcelona’s crunch La Liga clash with Atletico Madrid on Saturday, the Dutchman replied: “Honestly, I have been better.”

Koeman is under severe pressure after a 3-0 defeat to Benfica in the Champions League saw Barca start their European campaign with zero points and minus-six goal difference from their opening two group games.

With calls for Koeman to depart after almost 14 months in charge, the Dutchman says he is “fed up” of having to defend himself in the press.

“The president [Joan Laporta] was here but I haven’t seen him because we were preparing for tomorrow’s game,” he said.

“I am still here, but I have eyes and ears and a lot of things filter through.

“I am fed up of having to defend myself. It makes no sense. Today is not the time, but one day I would like to talk all about what I think of all this.”

He added: “I’m here for the love of the club.

“I came here in a very complicated situation. People can analyse that. We’ve had to make big changes.”

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