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Ten Cate fired by Panathinaikos

Ten Cate has departed Panathinaikos after failing to dislodge Olympiakos from the top of the Greek leageu.
Ten Cate has departed Panathinaikos after failing to dislodge Olympiakos from the top of the Greek leageu.
  • Coach Henk Ten Cate sacked by Greek giants Panathinaikos
  • Panathinaikos second in Greek league to arch rivals Olympiakos
  • Ten Cate was formerly assistant coach at Chelsea and Barcelona
  • Catania appoint Sinisia Mihajlovic as coach in place of Gianluca Atzori

(CNN) -- Panathinaikos sacked Dutch coach Henk Ten Cate on Tuesday after the Greek side lost the league leadership to arch rivals Olympiakos.

Ten Cate took over at the Athens-based side last season as Panathinaikos looked to end the dominance of Olympiakos, who have won every Greek championship bar one since 1997.

They led the standings until a 2-0 defeat to Olympiakos saw the champions move one point clear of Panathinaikos after 13 games.

Panathinaikos are also still in the Europa League and Greek Cup, but this did not prove enough to save Ten Cate, who will be replaced by Nikos Nioplias, the coach of the Greece under-21 team.

Ten Cate, who was assistant manager at English Premier League side Chelsea, told the official Panathinaikos Web site that it had been an "honor" to be in charge.

"I have laid the groundwork for this team. I respect the fact that some people may not be happy with the general picture, but my assistants and I have given everything to succeed."

The 54-year-old was assistant at Chelsea under Avram Grant and was previously number two at Barcelona to Frank Rijkaard.

I have laid the groundwork for this team
--Henk Ten Cate

Panathinaikos was his first managerial position and he took them to the last 16 of last season's Champions League, but could not dislodge Olympiakos in the Greek title race.

He was on a two-year contract, which still had six months to run on his departure.

The 45-year-old Nioplias, was bullish in his official statement on taking charge.

"My aim is to achieve with the team as a coach what I have achieved as a player -- win titles."

He has an excellent record with the Greek age group teams, taking the under-19 team to the final of the European championship and leading the under-21 squad to the top of their European championship group.

On other managerial news, Sinisa Mihajlovic has taken charge of Catania after the Serie A side dispensed with Gianluca Atzori on Monday.

Former Bologna coach Mihajlovic has signed a two-year deal with Catania, who are second bottom of the Italian standings.