October 27, 2014 / 1:41 PM / 5 years ago

Gattuso to stay as coach of OFI Crete in U-turn

ATHENS (Reuters) - Gennaro Gattuso has made a U-turn and will stay on as coach of Greek Super League club OFI Crete, the former Italy and ACMilan midfielder said on Monday.

Injured FC Sion player Gennaro Gattuso sits in the tribune before the start of the second half of their Swiss Super League soccer match against Grasshopper (GC) in Sion May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The 36-year-old World Cup winner, who took over last June and has presided over only seven matches, had announced his resignation from his post following a 3-2 loss at home to Asteras Tripolis on Sunday.

But after long discussions with the club’s administration and a show of support from fans, Gattuso has changed his mind.

“After many hours of discussions with members of the board and with the organised supporter groups of OFI, and after the love I have been shown generally by the city of Heraklio, I have decided to take a step back and make a new start,” Gattusotold the club’s official website.

He added: “I want to start from the beginning again and the aim is for us to be stronger and more united than ever.”

The move marks a surprising turnaround by Gattuso, who had said on Sunday that he felt non-footballing issues were causing too many problems for him to work effectively, as well as stating that players didn’t believe in him.

Gattuso, who won 73 caps and helped Italy lift the World Cup in 2006, succeeded Portuguese Ricardo Sa Pinto after he led the unfancied Greek team to a sixth place finish last term.

But OFI have struggled with inconsistent form and lie 10th in the table with nine points from seven matches.

Gattuso won every major domestic trophy, and lifted the Champions League twice, in more than 300 appearances for the Rossoneri before retiring at the end of the 2012/13 season.

He has struggled in his first attempts at managing, however, with his first job at Swiss club FC Sion ending with the sack, before a spell at Palermo ended after just three months following two wins and a draw in their first six league games.

Editing by Ossian Shine

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