Defiant Donis swiftly squashes sack talk

Dubai - Kwon Kyung-won conjured up a fairytale finish for the Red Knights.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Thu 22 Oct 2015, 6:34 PM

Giorgos Donis doesn't expect to face the axe despite accepting the responsibility for Al Hilal's failure to reach a second successive Asian Champions League (ACL) final. The Greek boss blamed himself for his side's tentative approach in the opening 30 minutes of a first half that ultimately saw Al Ahli take a 2-0 lead (3-1 on aggregate) into the interval.
Hilal hit back - and how - after the restart to restore parity and they looked to be going through on the away goals rule until - with the seconds ticking down - Kwon Kyung-won conjured up a fairytale finish for the Red Knights.
Having let slip such an advantageous position in this last-four tie so late in the day, Donis was asked whether his position at the club was now under threat and that line of questioning got decidedly short shrift.
"We've won around 25 of the 30-odd games we've played and lost the semifinal in the last minute," the ex-Blackburn Rovers winger, 46, said in his post-match press conference.
"I'm very proud of my team because they've worked very hard throughout all of this period. We have a lot of targets and it's hard to achieve every one of them. This question is very stupid at this time."
Donis was nonetheless prepared to take the brunt of the blame for their surprisingly sluggish start, which was only really rectified by some tactical tinkering at the break.
"I'm a human being like everybody else and, every time, I recognise - and accept - my faults," he explained. "I was afraid to take the risk and maybe lose the game at the beginning of the match, but perhaps my first feeling was wrong.

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