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Phillip Cocu relieved after Fenerbahce’s win over Spartak Trnava

Fenerbahce manager Phillip Cocu has highlighted the importance of Thursday night’s Europa League win over Spartak Trnava. The Dutchman had been under immense pressure to perform after the club’s poor start to the league campaign but he has managed to buy himself some time with the midweek triumph over Trnava.

Speaking after the game, Cocu indicated that the victory was a much-needed one after they were outclassed during the opening Europa League game against Dinamo Zagreb, he said: “It’s a very important moment to win. We lost the first game without a chance in Zagreb, then you have to win. This is different from the league, here too you have ambitions. I’m happy.

“We chose a slightly different way of playing and that’s what the players have followed up well. The belief in each other increases when you win. The boys work hard. There are many nationalities and many new players, that is always difficult. But if you win more often, things will be easier. Now the pressure is increasing, more tension is creeping into the team.”

“Fenerbahce came close to ending their long-wait for the Turkish title during the previous campaign “ but they were eventually beaten to the crown by Galatasaray with a margin of three points. Since then, the “Istanbul outfit have witnessed“ a change in management with Phillip Cocu being appointed as the new head coach but things have not quite gone as planned.

Despite the recent European triumph, Fenerbahce find themselves struggling in the league where they are already eight points behind Gala after seven games played and a failure to rectify this form in the coming games may witness Cocu sacked. According to reports in Turkey, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been touted as the favourite to succeed Cocu, though the Frenchman has yet to decide whether he would prefer a management return after parting ways with the Gunners after 22 years.