Ivic new AEK technical director as rebuilding process begins
Ilija Ivic is the new AEK technical director, while club supremo Dimitris Melissanidis has set his sights on Gus Poyet for the manager vacancy.
On Sunday evening, Miguel Cardoso was fired in the AEK dressing room, moments after the team conceded a shock 2-1 defeat to Xanthi at the Olympic Stadium. Nikos Liberopoulos also resigned from his post as the technical director.
Melissanidis gave this following speech to the players at the training ground in Spata: “We are all to blame for this situation, but it is in the past! I have been in football for 40 years, and I understand that there are more difficulties than joyous moments. I can see how bad you all feel psychologically, but we have a good team. With strength and our soul, we can turn this situation around. I have been a fighter all of my life, and I never give up. The championship is just starting.”
“We are looking to bring in a new technical director and coach,” continued Melissanidis. “However, in the meantime, I want you to show love and respect to Nikos Kostenoglou.”
AEK subsequently released pictures of Kostenoglou leading the training session:
Kostenoglou will be the interim head coach until a permanent replacement is appointed in the near future. AEK next play on Thursday in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League playoffs against Trabzonspor.
IVIC NEW TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
It has been confirmed that Ilija Ivic is the new AEK technical director, replacing the departed Liberopoulos.
AEK released this following statement on Tuesday:
“AEK FC officially announces the signing of an agreement with Ilija Ivic, who has signed a 2+2 contract to become the technical director of the team.
Ilija Ivic will be presented to the team this afternoon by Dimitris Melissanidis.”
Ivic, 48, played for AEK during his playing career and has previously been the technical director of the club.
POYET FAVOURITE FOR MANAGER VACANCY
Gus Poyet has emerged as the favourite to become the next AEK head coach.
Poyet, 51, previously served as AEK manager between October 2015 and April 2016. The Uruguayan coach gained a points-per-game average of 2.11 during that period.
Reports suggest that Melissanidis has firmly set his sights on Poyet, who is currently unemployed having last managed Bordeaux in 2018. The former professional footballer has also been the head coach of Brighton, Sunderland, Real Betis and Shanghai Shenhua.
Sport 24 reported that Poyet has expressed his desire to return to AEK.
COSIC RETURNING, GERALDES STAYING
After the completion of the 2018/2019 season, Uros Cosic was deemed surplus to requirements by Cardoso and Liberopoulos, but the Serbian defender is now returning to AEK after meeting with the administration. The club had been searching for a centre-back.
Cosic did have one year remaining on his AEK contract. The 26-year-old was a member of the side which won the 2017/2018 Super League title.
In other news, Portuguese midfielder Francisco Geraldes is predicted to remain with AEK, despite rumours suggesting that the Kitrinomavri were preparing to cut short his loan from Sporting Lisbon. Geraldes received a red card in the defeat to Xanthi.