SPORTS

Ranieri: It’s my fault, but I’m going nowhere

Greece manager Claudio Ranieri accepted the blame for the shock loss at home to the Faroe Islands (1-0) but rushed to stress he is not quitting the national team’s bench despite having a record of three defeats in as many games at home.

“The responsibility always lies with the manager, I remember that from the time I was a player myself, so it is my fault,” he told state broadcaster NERIT after the game.

“We have only scored one point, and no goals at all at home. However we should not make any decisions on the spur of the moment, I shall remain at the helm of the Greek team for now,” said Ranieri when asked whether he was going to resign.

“It is only through hard work that we can turn things around,” he told the post-game press conference. “Our opponents deserved their victory,” he conceded.

Greece captain Vassilis Torosidis was apologetic, saying that this was one of the worst nights in his life and repeating: “We have to apologize to ourselves and to the fans. Tonight we would have even lost even to my village’s team.”

Lazaros Christoulopoulos, the Greece midfielder who was probably the team’s best player on the night at the Karaiskakis Stadium, stated afterward that this defeat is a slap that “will make us keep our heads down.” He added that the players did not do what the coach had asked from them, but was still at a loss in trying to explain what went wrong.

Reports said in the early hours of Saturday that the federation would immediately seek talks with Ranieri, with a view to putting now an end to his two-year contract up to the summer of 2016, even though the compensation that would be payable to the Italian would be too high for the federation’s finances.