Butcher facing chop after Perth draw - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Butcher facing chop after Perth draw

By Philip Henderson 29/10/2006 09:09:08 PM Comments (0)

The axe remained menacingly poised over Terry Butcher after Sydney FC failed to sufficiently kill calls for the coach's head.

The A-League champions blew a lead for the fifth time this season in drawing 1-1 with Perth Glory at Aussie Stadium.

While the result ended a two-game losing slide to keep the Blues in fourth, it may only heighten speculation about Butcher's job with disgruntled Sydney supporters again voicing their disapproval at the side's faltering form.

The final whistle was greeted by a chorus of boos from the 12,316-strong crowd, with one supporter screaming: "The airport's that way" and another section unfurling a banner parodying the A-League's slogan: "It's football, but not as we like it".

Butcher has been under enormous pressure to keep his job over the past week following a failed attempt from club shareholder and actor Anthony LaPaglia to oust him from the position.

Club bosses have since failed to guarantee the coach his position for the rest of the season, saying only Butcher would be in charge against the Glory and the situation would be monitored beyond that.

After Sunday's result, Butcher agreed the speculation about his position would only continue.

"There's always going to be pressure, there's always going to be speculation and all that sort of stuff," said the former England international, who took over from German Pierre Littbarski during the off-season.

"Of course I'm under pressure, I'm under pressure every game we play, from the pre-season to now I'm under pressure. It's because we're Sydney FC, because we're champions last year and the expectations are very high."

David Zdrilic looked to have handed Butcher some welcome relief with his 15th minute headed goal.

But Sydney again failed to complete the job after taking a 1-0 lead, with Luka Glavas scoring his maiden A-League goal in the 75th to give Perth a much-needed point after back-to-back defeats.

Butcher insisted he and the team still had the support of the fans.

"I don't think we've lost the fans at all, I got a lovely little card form a supporter behind the technical areas saying 'Terry don't go', I've had a good rapport with them during the game and I think they're behind us.

"They can see the effort the players are putting in and can see the hard luck is not falling for us.

"But there's nothing like winning. If you win matches then everybody's happy."

Sydney's run won't get any easier next Saturday against a rejuvenated Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Blues have never beaten their NSW rival and will be without skipper Mark Rudan through suspension after the central defender received his fourth yellow card of the season.

After going winless their first seven games under Nick Theodorakopoulos, the Jets have now won three straight with Gary van Egmond at the helm.

Newcastle now sit just one point off fourth place after a dramatic 2-1 win over powerhouse Adelaide on Friday, punctuated with arguably the best individual goal in the A-League's short history scored by Nick Carle.

That loss allowed Queensland Roar to sneak back into second spot on the ladder after a 1-1 draw with Central Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Melbourne, though, extended its lead at the top of the table to a massive 11 points after a 4-0 dismantling of last-placed New Zealand on Friday, the Victory's ninth win in 10 games.

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