Squad news


17 Feb 2009
Experienced Lotina is facing the youngest manager in the current UEFA Cup, Magnus Pehrsson. Depor’s coach is aware of the problems at his team and doesn’t talk about favourites. Meanwhile Pehrsson assures his team is ready no matter the long winter pause.

Magnus Pehrsson is a Swedish coach and former player that took charge of AaB in January of the present year (He signed a three-year contract). He’s a 32-year-old ex-player that made his career at Lidingo, Djurgarden, Goteborg and also at Bradford City in England. In 2006, Pehrsson was appointed manager of IK Sirius. In November 2007, Pehrsson was hired as the manager of GAIS

Then he took this challenge after Bruce Rioch, a former Arsenal and Bolton manager, was dismissed on October 23 after Aalborg's poor domestic form and an apparent dispute with officials over the use of younger players. Between October and December, the Danish team was coached by Allan Kuhn, curiously it was the best time in the season for AaB as the team clinched a draw at the Old Trafford for the Champions League (2-2), and also added 15 of 21 possible points in the Danish Superliga.

Pehrsson is the youngest coach at the current UEFA Cup tournament, actually this is his first European competition. Opposite is the case of Miguel Angel Lotina, the Basque already played this tournament with RCD Espanyol, club in which he won one Copa Del Rey.

The Basque coach talked in Aalborg during the official press conference before the game, he admitted to not know too much about the rival, and he didn’t want to talk about favourites for this leg, ?We know, of course, Aalborg from their participation in the Champions League, but since then, they have brought a new coach and new players and we don’t know about it. Therefore it’s difficult to say who the favourite is. Aalborg has done very well in the Champions League, but we are coming from the Spanish league which is very strong, so you can not tell in advance who the favourites are.?

Later Lotina said a draw could be a positive result in this game, but for him the best news is that Depor still has to play the second-leg at the Riazor. ?Again, it’s difficult to say and much depends on the game mode. Maybe a draw would be  good result, but we don’t know yet. We know however that we have a returning leg at home, in front of our fans.?

About the doubts with Lopo, Verd?? and Lafita, Depor’s coach still doesn’t know if they will play the game, ?Our team has been hit by some injuries. Three solid players are staying at home (Riki, Manuel Pablo and Bodipo), while two of the players from our reserves are not registered for the UEFA Cup (Laure and Lassad). At the same time, four men have been hit by small problems (Lafita, Laure, Verd?? and Mista), so we must wait until today’s training in order to know who is ready to fight tomorrow.? (The press conference took place before the last training before the game).

Mista, who is facing a pubis problem, was doubtful for the game, but Lotina said to a Spanish reporter that the Murcian will be a starter in the match. Also, before the travel to Denmark, the Me?aka-born coach was assuring that he’s aware of the hopes of Depor’s fans, ?We all know the fans are hopeful about the UEFA Cup, and the intention is to give everything. We will try to reach the last instance. We have been caught suffering many blows and casualties, but the plane is full with the fans’ hopes, that’s what bring us more respect and for them, we will give everything.?

The coach of AaB gave an interview to a Swedish paper, he said that Depor is the favourite side in the series, ?They may apply as favorites although their coach had said before that we were the favourites. It is flattering and shows that we have made a nice job after the Champions league, but they are in the middle of their season. We definitely have a good chance even though they may apply as favourites.?

The Swedish manager is conscious that the lack of pace is something that might affect his men, but he assured his team is ready to face the challenge of Deportivo, ?During the last three weeks, we have been able to play some games with some relief on the practice. What we have lacked is, obviously, the experience of an official match, but otherwise we have prepared us at the best possible way for this fight.?

Finally, Pehrsson said that he’s feeling fine after his first month as the coach of AaB, ?It’s funny, I come here before with the other team, and we have eleven good starters, and a complete team with 25 players. I feel I have made a good contact with all of them. I am very satisfied with the preparation period, but now it’s time to start delivering results. In a few weeks, we will know how the things are.?

On Tuesday, during the press conference previous to the game, he insisted that AaB is prepared to play after two months of vacations, ?This is our first fight in a long time, so we must quickly get the right pace and level. I think we have had an optimal preparation for the fight, where we have been focusing on the defensive job, something we hope to succeed in tomorrow’s game. ?

One of the factors that might affect the game is the weather (-2 degrees Celsius on Tuesday), but Pehrsson thinks it won’t affect the encounter, ?It is difficult to say before the match. We are, obviously, more used to this weather and therefore better prepared for it, but we shall see what effect, if any, will have over the Spaniards. I don’t think it will have a big influence on the match.?



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