Galatasaray's Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink came under fire after a 2-1 home loss to minnows Kayserispor on Sunday night but the Lions' executives came to the aid of the embattled coach, who was booed by fans.
The Istanbul-based club was the latest "loser" in the Spor Toto Super League whose 20th week spelled trouble for the frontrunners. Despite fierce fan support at the Türk Telekom Arena, Galatasaray succumbed to a defeat against Kayserispor, who are struggling way below the main players in the top-tier league. The club's defeat, which cost them the chance to go second below leaders Beşiktaş, led to booing by fans who called on Riekerink and club executives to resign after a lackluster performance on the pitch. Riekerink, who has been in charge of the team since March 2016, admitted they missed "a great opportunity" and praised the "ambitious" Kayserispor while he said booing has always been "a part of the game." Club chairman Dursun Özbek denied media reports after the match that Galatasaray have started searching for another coach while he dismissed the defeat as a loss "in a marathon." Özbek said the executive board did not discuss a replacement. "We learn our lessons and we will never fall into despair. Of course, we cannot ignore the reaction of the fans," Özbek told reporters yesterday. The Galatasaray administration will hold a meeting today on the impact of the result against Kayserispor and the team's goals. "We cannot make decisions that will affect Galatasaray's success and we have to think carefully," he said.
Levent Nazifoğlu, another executive speaking to reporters after the match, said a change of coach would hurt Galatasaray rather than help it. The Doğan News Agency reported that Galatasaray Chairman Özbek had pushed the firing of Riekerink through the executive board of the club despite some objections, whilethe Anatolia agency said the decision on the fate of the coash will be taken today.
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