Troubled Beşiktaş coach Avcı under fire before derby
Ali Kayalar - ISTANBUL
Abdullah Avcı, the troubled coach of Beşiktaş, says he does not consider quitting the team following a chain of disappointing results. But a home loss against city rival Galatasaray on Oct. 27 may add to his woes that grow on another European fiasco late on Oct. 24.
“I expect fans to support us on Sunday. I did not think of resigning I will keep on struggling,” Avcı said in a post-game interview after Beşiktaş bowed 2-1 to Portugal’s Braga in a UEFA Europa League Group K game.
Braga tops Group K with seven points followed by Wolverhampton Wanderers with six points. Slovan Bratislava sits at the third spot with four points. Before the European test, the club elected a new chairman, Ahmet Nur Çebi, to replace Fikret Orman who stepped aside following fan reactions to bad results.
In his inauguration, Çebi said he would back the coach who arrived last summer at least until the winter break.
Beşiktaş has lost all its three games in the group, and it stands at eight points in the Turkish Süper Lig, only one point above the relegation line.
Avcı said fans deserved to protest the team after losses.
“We have to offer them something. They are rightful in their reaction. They do not swear or use bad words. [Such reaction to bad results] happens across the world, this is inevitable. I hope that our fans, who had broken a sound volume record in the past will help us revive on Sunday.”
Beşiktaş’s rival Galatasaray fights its own sufferings, and its boss Fatih Terim also sees the away derby as an opportunity for confidence building.
The defending champion lost 1-0 to Spanish mammoth Real Madrid at home on Oct. 23 and is at the bottom of the Champions League’ Group A, also dominated by Paris Saint Germen.
Contrary to Avcı, Terim was angry with a group of fans who booed Younes Belhanda for missing a clear goal opportunity.
“Our fans would not do such things. Spectators would, but fans wouldn’t. We do not need such spectators, but real fans,” he said, also warning fans over social media trolls and the pseudo-Galatasaray supporters.
Elsewhere, Alanyaspor, the dark horse of the domestic league, will visit Gaziantep on Oct. 26, when Sivasspor takes on Antalyaspor and third-spot Fenerbahçe hosts Konyaspor.
On the derby day, cellar-dweller Kayserispor will travel to Malatya, Ankara’s Gençlerbirliği will play against Denizlispor and İzmir’s Göztepespor will host Istanbul’s Kasımpaşaspor.
Başakşehir and Trabzonspor, the two remaining Turkish teams in the European competitions, will clash in Istanbul on Oct. 28 in the closing game of the Süper Lig.
Trabzon, which stands on the second spot in the domestic title race, beat bowed 2-0 to Russia’s Krasnodar in a UEFA Europa League Group C game. It is at the bottom of the league with one point in three matches.
Başakşehir beat Austria’s Wolfsberger 1-0 at home and jumped to the second spot with four points in the Group J topped by Roma with five points.