Corinthians midfielder Elias hopes fans will remain supportive to the teamCorinthians' Paolo Guerrero (C) celebrates his goal against Danubio with his team-mates Jádson (R) and Elias during their Copa Libertadores de América match at Arena Corinthians on 1st April, 2015
Corinthians midfielder Elias is hopeful that the fans will remain supportive to the team.
With the squad behind on receiving their wage payments and forward Paolo Guerrero - out of contract in July - likely to move on, the supporters have chosen to demonstrate in recent weeks to highlight their discontent with how the club is run.
On the pitch, Corinthians were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores de América in the Round of 16 by Guaraní [3-0 on aggregate], but have started the new Brasileirão campaign with two wins [against Cruzeiro and Chapecoense] from two matches.
Speaking on Saturday, Elias admitted that Corinthians’ current situation is far from ideal. He insisted, however, that the players motivation will not be stifled by the wage issues and called on the fans to remain positive.
"We have to go game by game to look for the title. I ask for the understanding and support of the fans," he told Globo Esporte, as reported by website ca2015.
"They say what they want and we respect them. What matters is that we sleep with a clear head. We never stop running because of money.
"Most of the fans understand us, but we have to be supported as well.”
Elias was signed by Corinthians from Sporting CP for a reported fee of €4 million in July 2014. He had previously played for them between May 2008 and January 2011, at which point Atlético de Madrid purchased him for around €7 million.
Across his two spells with Corinthians, Elias has scored 20 goals in 106 appearances.