Rafael Benitez one defeat away from losing Celta Vigo job

Celta Vigo looked as if they had secured a crucial win to lift themselves six points clear of the drop on Sunday, before fans had that sinking feeling again. In the 100th minute, Cadiz equalised through a Darwin Machis screamer, keeping the gap between Celta and the side directly below them at three points. It has Rafael Benitez sitting uncomfortably.

President Mariana Mourino has shown plenty of faith in Benitez, and Marca say that there is a belief within the club that sacking him will not necessarily ease their woes. After all, they are in the same position they finished last season.

Yet Mourino’s patience will have to be weighed against the growing numbers against Benitez, and the ire of Balaidos, who have made it clear they want him gone. Celta have now given up 15 points in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, and his explanations are starting to sound increasingly threadbare.

Benitez’s contract is thought to be the main thing keeping him in his position. Former Sporting Advisor Luis Campos gave Benitez a long-term deal until 2026, looking to launch a new era for their centenary with a star signing on the bench. It is believed that it will cost Celta €4m to sack Benitez, a fee Mourino is desperate to avoid paying. If Celta are beaten by Almeria this weekend though, the winless Almeria at the bottom of the table, then the situation will be considered ‘unsustainable’ as Mourino has termed it, and Benitez will lose his job.

Ultimately, it will come down to whether Celta believe they are at risk of relegation. The current of opinion against him in Galicia is hard to turn around at the best of times, but with a squad that has flirted with a relegation well below their budget for several seasons, patience is also wearing thin. Celta host Almeria, before two tricky trips to Real Madrid and Sevilla before the March international break.

Tags Celta Vigo Liverpool Rafael Benitez
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