Aragones explains change of heart over resignation

September 12, 2006

MADRID, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Spain coach Luis Aragones has said he changed his mind about quitting because the Spanish Federation (RFEF) and his coaching assistants convinced him he had no reason to throw in the towel.

The 68-year-old offered his resignation after the Spanish media called for his head following Spain's 3-2 defeat by Northern Ireland in a Euro 2008 qualifier last Wednesday.

'I originally thought that I should resign because of the bad result, but they (the RFEF) wouldn't accept my decision,' Aragones told Spanish television station Telecinco on Monday evening.

'I still thought I would resign up until five in the afternoon, but when I met with my assistants they persuaded me to change my mind.

'I decided that I should continue because they all said we weren't in a desperate situation and that we could still qualify for Euro 2008.'

Aragones denied his change of heart had been influenced by the fact that he would not receive any financial compensation if he resigned.

'It wasn't down to the money, it was more to do with the people around me.'

It is not the first time that Aragones has changed his mind about quitting his post.

Before the World Cup, he said he would leave if Spain failed to reach the quarter-finals. His side lost in the second round to eventual finalists France, but Aragones decided to stay on.

Spain, who lie in fifth place in Group F after two matches, play group leaders Sweden in Solna on Oct. 7 in their next Euro 2008 qualifier.