Otto Rehhagel is to stay on as Greek coach till the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ finals despite Greece being deposed as European champions, the Greek Football Federation (EPO) president said on Tuesday.

The 69-year-old German guided Greece to a surprise title in 2004 but was unable to conjure up the same magic this time round and two defeats in their first two matches has seen them become the fourth defending champions to bow out at the first stage.

"We will continue to work together till 2010," EPO president Vassilis Gagatsis was quoted as saying in the daily newspaper Kathimerini.

"It is very easy to change coach, but the strength of this team has always been the mutual trust between the players and the coach.

"In our country it is a habit of ours to forget easily what has gone before, but Rehhagel (who has been in charge since 2001) was the architect of the greatest success in Greek sporting history."

Despite Gagatsis' comments about the mutual trust between the players and the coach, cracks did appear during the group stage with several senior players commenting that their tactics were too negative and that what had worked four years ago was no longer practicable as their opponents knew how to play them.

Greece, who lost 2-0 to Sweden in their opener and then 1-0 to Russia, round off their campaign agaisnt Group D winners Spain on Wednesday.