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Chivas stand by Paunovic as fans push for sacking

Three consecutive defeats culminating with a humiliating 4-0 loss in the Clasico Nacional has fans calling for the Serbian coach’s head.

Veljko Paunovic durante un partido de Chivas en la Leagues Cup.
Jose Luis Melgarejo

Last Saturday, at the Estadio Azteca, Chivas de Guadalajara suffered one of those results that in Mexican football are known as “saca técnicos” (end of the line for the coach). América’s 4-0 win over Chivas was a humiliation for the Sacred Flock and the third and most painful of three consecutive defeats that has lead to many fans now calling for the departure of Veljko Paunovic.

Earlier this week, the club’s sporting director Fernando Hierro, addressed the media and backed the Serbian in the post and expressed his full support for the ongoing project.

Fernando Hierro
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Fernando Hierro Francisco GuascoEFE

“This is a process and we need time, we need to keep working. We have a vision, we have a project, we have a model and the idea is to see it through”, the Spaniard explained adding: “I repeat, we have confidence in the coach, we have confidence in the players, we have confidence in the way we are working.”

Alberto Guerra on Paunovic

Former Chivas manager Guerra spoke to AS about the situation at the club he played for in the 60s and later managed from 1981-1987.

The 79-year-old acknowledged that watching the defeat was a ‘traumatic experience’. “Sometimes you lose, that happens, but to lose a Clasico in this manner when there is infinitely greater superiority from the opponent and you get badly beaten, well it is very painful, but that does not mean that the coach should be sacked. He (Paunovic) should now listen to the fans who feel hurt as it was an experience that has to be assimilated by all Chivas fans”.

Veljko Paunovic fined for referee comments
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The Chivas coach PaunovicJuan Luis Diaz

Post Leagues Cup form dips

Since Paunovic took over at Chivas (October 2023), the Serbian managed to steer the team to the final of the Liga MX 2023 Clausura where they were beaten by Tigres. His side did record a famous win over America at the Azteca on the road to the final, but the good will secured with that win has long evaporated. Since the team’s return from the Leagues Cup, things have gone from bad to worse. Guadalajara have won just one game since the domestic league resumed and have now recorded a hat trick of back to back losses.

Next up for the Serbian coach

The Liga MX fixture list hasn’t exactly been benevolent for the Sacred Flock as we reach the halfway point of the 2023 Apertura. The side from Guadalajara face a mixed bag in terms of difficulty with the next few games set to dictate the Serbian’s future on the bench at the Akron Stadium. This weekend, Chivas face 2022 Apertura winners Pachuca at home before another home tie against struggling Mazatlan. They then travel to Toluca before facing Atlas in the Guadalajara derby.

Defeat at the hands of Pachuca and a fourth consecutive loss, could lead to an untenable position for the 46-year-old at the famous Mexican club.