Squad news


18 Oct 2008
Lotina faces L??pez Mu?±iz for the third time in his career, both coaches already played a Copa series against each other. Depor’s coach is hoping that his team will be consistent now that it will start playing in three competitions. Both coaches consider that the game will be tough since the two teams present similar characteristics

Juan Ram??n L??pez Mu?±iz is an ex-player that performed in the past for Sporting Gij??n, Rayo Vallecano and Numancia. Totally he played 234 matches in Primera Divisi??n. He retired in the year 2001, and then he started to work as the second coach of RCD Espanyol and later he did the same with Malaga CF. His first job as the main coach of a club was at UD Marbella. For the season 2006/2007 he returned to Malaga CF, this time as the first coach of the squad.

The Asturian manager succeeded one year later as he conquered the promotion to Primera Divisi??n with the Andalusian team. For the present season he signed a two-year contract with Racing Santander. Despite been a novel coach, Mu?±iz already faced Lotina in a couple of opportunities. Both confrontations occurred in the Round of 16 in the Copa Del Rey 2006/2007.

At the time Lotina was coaching Real Sociedad and Mu?±iz was working with M??laga. Each side won a match, but Mu?±iz was able to advance to the next round as Malaga won the series with a 5-3 aggregate score. A curiosity in the game is that Lotina will meet again Fernando Gaspar, the physical trainer that he had when the Basque trained Numancia (season 1998/1999). Both achieved the promotion to Primera after that season. Currently, Gaspar is the physical trainer of Racing.

Depor’s coach talked before the trip to Santander. Lotina is aware of the good statistics of his squad playing at El Sardinero, but he thinks these numbers shouldn’t be a reason to be relaxed �I know that El Sardinero is a positive place for us, but the statistics stay in the papers. The game starts at five o’ clock, we are eleven against eleven and there are no radios there, neither papers nor televisions and you trend to forget about the stats.�

The Basque trainer insisted that la liga is the priority for him and confessed that he still doesn’t know who will play against CSKA �Right now the most important game is not the one at Moscow, but the one we will face tomorrow (Sunday). I don’t know who will rest in Moscow. I first need to watch tomorrow’s game, the sensations of the squad, things that are important in today’s football.�

Lotina talked too about the cases with Guardado and Riki â€?Guardado arrived with a little injury. He fall asleep today for the change in the hours and we decided he should stay in La Coru?±a thinking of the game in Moscow. About Riki, I don’t have doubts, but I have talked with my assistants. He can’t play on Thursday and when he goes out during the second half, he has contributed with more things to the squad.â€?

The Me?±aka-born coach appointed that Racing and Deportivo are two teams with a similar style and also believes the game will be complicated â€?We are two teams with similar characteristics, both are facing three competitions. There’s a lot of equality and let’s see what happens. They are coming after winning in a complicate stadium, Pamplona, and it’s going to be a tough match for both teams.â€?

Finally, Lotina appointed that he’s hopeful with the challenges that Depor will face in the upcoming two and a half months �A very hopeful calendar begins, because what the players wants is to play. We took advantage of these fifteen days in order to make an important physical work, both in strength and endurance, and until December we must take care of ourselves and work hard in the recuperation process. I would love to hear in December that we are a solid team, consistent and that knows how to play. If that’s the sensations transmitted by my team, I would be satisfied regardless of the standings.�

The Asturian coach talked on Friday after the training of the squad at La Albericia (Racing’s training pitch). He asked for patience for the game against Depor, curiously the same thing that ex-coach Marcelino asked during past season’s visit of Depor �It’s necessary to have patience, calmness and order. What we want is to play a good game and add the first win at home. This in order to give back to the fans the massive support they have always showed to us.�

About the tactic for the game, Mu?±iz didn’t want to confirm that he will use the same one implemented during the victory at Pamplona â€?I liked how we used the 4-1-4-1 during the last match, but it doesn’t means that we will use it in all the games. I liked how it worked out and it’s an option together with the 4-4-2, system that we were practicing since the pre-season.â€?

About Deportivo, the ex-coach of Malaga is convinced that it’s a rival with similar characteristics than Racing �Both teams have the same level and their style of playing is very similar. We would like to be ordered when we don’t have the ball possession. If we want to achieve the victory, we need to play a practical and effective football. Any side taking the advantage in the score will have big part of the job already done.�

Finally and contrary to what happens at Deportivo, Mu?±iz doesn’t believe in the rotations, as he said: â€?You always have in mind the next compromises, but I don’t think my players have accumulated too many minutes on this season. Besides we are coming after a break in la liga, there was enough time to rest and to see the recovery of the injured players. I don’t think we need to be worried about the physical condition of the players at this point of the season.â€?

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