Lemonis defiant following rumors of threats to his post

Olympiakos coach Takis Lemonis, who led his team through a much-desired respectable outing in the Champions League this season, has angrily shunned claims that he could be fired following a board meeting today. Over the last few days, a number of local newspapers have reported that the Piraeus team’s administration is not content with Olympiakos’s standard of play in the Super League, and was also let down by the team’s 3-0 thrashing in the Champions League against Chelsea in London. The defeat ousted Olympiakos from the Round of 16 following a sturdy showing in group competition. Lemonis, in comments following his team’s 1-0 win against Veria over the weekend, which kept Olympiakos a point behind leader Panathinaikos, insisted that he knew nothing about the situation. «Ask the people who write these things and their sources,» said Lemonis, a former star player at Olympiakos who rejoined the club last season for a second coaching tenure. «There are journalists who write about various scenarios and their sources that supply them with these stories.» The arrival of former player Ilija Ivic as technical director at the start of the season is believed to have jeopardized Lemonis’s place. But Olympiakos’s form in Europe, the club’s best in years, seems to have consolidated Lemonis. However, following the midweek exit from the Champions League, and the team’s second place at present in the Super League behind archrival Panathinaikos, the pressure appears to be creeping back for Lemonis. Olympiakos defender Christos Patsatzoglou, who scored his team’s winning goal at Veria, defended his coach. «Everything is fine between the players and with our coach and we will give everything to win the title,» he said. Olympiakos is also in contention for the Greek Cup. It holds a 2-0 advantage over Iraklis ahead of a second-leg match, away, in the quarterfinals.

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