Patrick Kisnorbo has reportedly been handed a stay of execution at Ligue 2 strugglers Troyes in France – for now.
There have been growing calls for Troyes to sack the Australian head coach amid fan unrest and a poor run of results but City Football Group (CFG) – who own the club – have seemingly opted against making a change in the dugout.
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After they were relegated from France’s top flight last season, Troyes have only won one of their opening nine matches to hover just outside the relegation zone on goal difference in the second tier.
Since taking charge, the former Socceroo has only claimed two wins from 33 games, losing 20.
Their spiralling form, which dates back to last season when former Melbourne City boss Kisnorbo took over in November, has cast serious doubt over his position with fans displaying “Kisnorbo Out” banners and signs at games.
But after CFG’s much-publicised visit to north-central France, French publication L’est Eclair report that the owners have decided to stick with the Isuzu UTE A-League Championship-winning coach and he fronted the media the media as Troyes prepare to visit Valenciennes on Sunday (AEDT).
Kisnorbo was asked to discuss his meeting with the board after reports claimed he would be sacked on Tuesday but replied: “No.
“You can ask them. You can speak to them.”
Pressed on CFG’s visit, Kisnorbo said: “I concentrate on one thing and I’ve always said, the most important people are the players.
“They’re the most important people. My job is to look after the players and protect them as much as I can.”
Reporters continued to quiz Kisnorbo and asked what he had said to the hierarchy during CFG’s presence at Troyes.
“I literally haven’t said anything,” he said, despite holding a 6% win record at the club.
“Again, if you want to know what we spoke about, speak to them. For me, I have a job to do here. Make this place a place where players want to play for the club and the city.
“A good training environment and to have good people here. I’ve said that from day one. With the group we have, we have everything you can ask for, especially from a very young group of players.
“That’s been my aim. If we can improve them, play a certain way and behave a certain way, that’s what my aim was. Everything else comes from these steps.
“The most important thing for me was to change this place. To be a club where players want to come. We have 12-13 academy players which is fantastic. It shows what we’re doing here at Troyes is good things. They’re playing first-team football.
“If you look elsewhere, maybe it doesn’t happen.
“We have young kids who really want to play for the team and the club. They represent good behaviour every day. There’s no problems with the players. You can see that in performances.
“I’m worse than everyone else – I want to win more than anyone. Remember where I came from, I won everything.
“It’s not about that. It’s starting something to get there. How do we get there? We have to start somewhere and this is the base. It’s hard for me too when you lose in the 90th minute or a mistake here and there.
“If you’re upset, well come see me at night.
“But we have to work to get better. What you see is a group that does everything they can for this football club. Hopefully things start to change. That’s what we want.”
Once his answer was translated into French, he then immediately added: “It took an Australian person to show how good Troyes can be with the young kids that come through the academy.
“No one has ever done this. So that’s what I’m proud of. I’m not from Troyes but I have Troyes people who want to play for the club. For me that’s fantastic.”
Kisnorbo also dismissed the presence of disgruntled fans and policemen at Wednesday’s opening training session.
“Not for me,” he said when asked whether it was difficult.
“I’m here to protect the players. Anyone can watch the open training session every Wednesday. It’s their choice to come watch.
“For me, it’s to work the players as hard as we can on that day. You can do whatever you want.”