20 Aug 2008
Midfielder Juan Rodr?­guez knows that Deportivo is facing a tough challenge on the next week in UEFA, but he knows the team can achieve a positive result in Croatia. He also analysed the first-leg played at the Riazor. For him the key is to score a goal.

Q: How did you see the first game with the Croatians from the inside? Because the feelings transmitted were not positive.
A: We knew it was going to be complicated, because they behaved as a team that runs a lot. Extremely defending and with the ideas very clear. From the first moment they covered the sides. They put a lot of men ob the centre and for that reason we didn’t have spaces and that’s also why we barely had chances to score. We worked very hard to have clear scoring opportunities. We had a few chances in set pieces, but through the combinative game, nothing.

Q: Will you be better on the next week?
A: And I hope the game will be more open. They will have to find the goal. For us, a draw with goals is enough and they need the victory. I think we will have more space and I hope it will be our game.

Q: You only missed the goal in the first game.
A: We dominated and we had more ball possession than them. The only thing missed was to score. They did a pretty good game in defence. We must admit this and give them the merit.

Q: Some people see the future very dark.
A: We only tied, we shouldn’t be dramatizing. Our goal still in zero, and that’s very important in a knockout round of two legs. Anything can happen. Neither people can be in panic. We did what we could in order to obtain a positive result, but they were flawless defensively and made their game.

Q: Do you still see the squad competing in UEFA?
A: Yes, of course. In a match anything can happen, and a goal in Croatia will be favourable to us, it would be very good for us. The team will give everything to continue in the competition.

Q: Maybe things have been taken too soon?
A: No, what happens is that you can not win all matches with big scores. We knew it was a team that would be difficult.

Q: You made a good job in midfield during the past game.
A: It’s my job to fulfill the dirty work. We must help the team in everything we can.

Q: Maybe too many tactical changes?
A: No, why? There was a last minute casualty, the one of Lafita and it was necessary to regulate a little the draw throughout the match. But the only thing in our mind is to achieve the win in Split, we will go for the game, yes or yes.

Q: How did you felt against Hajduk?
A: Except in the few minutes that I played as central defender, I fulfilled the same function. The team was trying to attack and I had to maintain the position.

Q: Are you afraid of the Croatian fans?
A: At this point, nothing can frighten us. We neither are starting from zero. There are people with experience and playing in a stadium where people is encouraging is beautiful. The same happens when a team comes to the Riazor.

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