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Sacking Koeman will not fix Barcelona's problems, says midfielder De Jong

FOOTBALL By Reuters | September 30th 2021
Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong walks from the pitch after being given a red card during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz and Barcelona at the Nuevo Mirandilla stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (AP )

A 3-0 defeat at Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday heaped more pressure on Barcelona's under-fire manager Ronald Koeman but midfielder Frenkie de Jong said sacking him would not solve the club's problems.

Barca have made a poor start to the season, languishing in sixth spot in LaLiga, five points off leaders Real Madrid, and suffering back-to-back 3-0 defeats in the Champions League after losing their opener to Bayern Munich.

Barcelona President Joan Laporta backed Koeman last week but said the board would not shirk tough decisions https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-spain-fcb-laporta-idUKKBN2GJ1A5 if they needed to be made.

"I don't think changing the coach is the solution," Dutchman De Jong said. "I can't talk about Koeman, it's not my place.

"We have to keep fighting, stay together and overcome this situation. We can only escape this with hard work and being united as a team."

September 28, 2021 FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman during training REUTERS

Koeman said the players were still behind him but added that he did not know if the board felt the same after the Benfica game.

"As I've said just the other day, regarding my future I can't say anything," Koeman said.

"Because I don't know what the club is thinking in this respect, and I don't want to answer any more questions on this because it is not in my hands. We'll see."

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