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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Aguirre gets board backing despite slump

Under-pressure Atletico Madrid coach Javier Aguirre has received the backing of his president Enrique Cerezo.

Although Atletico finished 2008 on a 15-match unbeaten run, in third spot in the Primera Liga standings and in the last 16 of both the Champions League and Copa del Rey, Aguirre has found himself in the firing line following a poor start to 2009.

Atletico have lost all three matches so far this year and during the home games against Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao sections of the Rojiblancos support called for Aguirre's head.

That feeling of discontent is unlikely to improve either if Atletico, as expected, are unable to overturn their 3-1 first-leg deficit against Barca at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night and tumble out of the Copa del Rey - losing their best chance of claiming some silverware this season.

However, Aguirre has found allies within the club, with president Cerezo today throwing his support behind the former Osasuna boss.

"Javier Aguirre is our coach, and that is because he wants it and we want it," said Cerezo, who met with the players and coaching staff at the club's training ground.

"The contract which we have signed with him will be completed because he is our coach and we are happy with his work. We have faith in him and since he came here he has achieved the objectives that have been set out.

"What we want is to beat Almeria and Malaga (in the next two league games) to start picking up points in the league and return the confidence that we had in December.

"In football there are good runs and bad and we have lost three games, but now we could win the following 15 because anything can happen."

Cerezo also responded to media reports in Italy that Argentina coach Diego Maradona has recommended that Atletico's star striker Sergio Aguero quit the Vicente Calderon and join Serie A giants Internazionale.

"I've said many times that Atletico are a buying club, not a selling club, and I won't tire of saying that," Cerezo said.

"I don't know if there is interest in Italy for Kun Aguero, but he is an Atletico Madrid player. The truth is that I don't know anything about these comments."

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