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Panathinaikos fires coach Jesualdo Ferreira after poor league results

Panathinaikos has fired coach Jesualdo Ferreira for disappointing results in the Greek league.

The club said the 66-year-old Portuguese coach would be formally replaced later Thursday by Argentine-born Juan Ramon Rocha, a popular former Panathinaikos player who has coached at other Greek clubs.

Ferreira was appointed two years ago, but the club quickly lost ground this season to main rival Olympiakos.

Panathinaikos was held to a 0-0 draw Monday by Kerkyra after a dismal performance and is sixth in the 16-team league after 10 matches, 15 points behind leader Olympiakos.

Ferreira said he helped the club through financial crisis, but that the fans had turned against him.

Admitting to mistakes, Ferreira said, "I feel that I am no longer a solution for Panathinaikos but part of the problem ... I am leaving to protect the club."