Squad news


13 Sep 2009
Lotina faces López Muñiz for the fifth time in his career; so far Depor’s coach has clinched two wins in the series. He was confirming that Depor will play with the same squad that lost at the Bernabéu, while explained the state of Lassad and Adrian.

Juan Ramón López Muñiz is an ex-defender that performed in the past for Sporting Gijón, Rayo Vallecano and Numancia. Totally, he completed 234 matches at Primera División. He retired in the year 2001, then he started to work as the second coach of RCD Espanyol, later he did the same at Malaga CF. Then he was the main coach of UD Marbella and for the season 2006/2007, he returned to Malaga, this time he clinched the promotion to Primera División, reason why he was hired as the coach of Racing for the past campaign. And for the season 2009/2010 he is returning to Malaga for the third time, though now playing at the elite.

This is the fifth confrontation for the Asturian coach against Miguel Angel Lotina, the first two meetings occurred in the Round of 16 in t Copa Del Rey 2006/2007. At the time Lotina was coaching Real Sociedad and Muñiz was working with Málaga. Each side won one of the legs, but Muñiz was able to advance to the next round as Malaga won the tie with a 5-3 aggregate score. The other two confrontations took place on the past season, the first was a 0-0 between Racing and Depor, and the second a 5-3 win for the Galicians, one of the most brilliant matches of Lotina’s team during the past campaign.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Saturday; he firstly explained the reason why Depor will play with the same squad that stepped at the Santiago Bernabéu, “The logical thing is to repeat, because we are content with what we did in Madrid, the squad worked well in that game. We will give continuity to it, now against a different rival and playing at home.”

Despite the words of the coach, there’s the doubt of Filipe Luis, defender who was having a small problem in the knee. Lotina explained that if the Brazilian is not fit enough, then Angulo will take his place, “He has a problem in the knee, it doesn’t seem serious, but we don’t yet what it is. If he has doubts, I don’t want him to play. It’s a small problem, but that’s why I am picking 20 players for the match.”

At the same time the coach was assuring that Lassad and Adrian are fit to play, but not during the fully ninety minutes, “Adrian and Lassad are ready to play, but not during the whole game, they still missing match fitness. They are fine, but still aren’t ready for the fully ninety minutes, not even for sixty. Lassad has missed a lot of training sessions, Adrian too.”

The Basque manager was also giving his opinion about the rival, “It’s an uncomfortable rival, I respect all the teams, but I am not afraid of anybody. They have changed their philosophy since they changed the coach and also the squad, but they have a very balanced team and it doesn’t look like (Real) Madrid. This year, with Muñiz, they search for the velocity of their attackers, they easily defeated Atletico and that means they are dangerous in attack.”

Finally, Lotina is hopeful about achieving the first victory of the season, “To start well is always important, especially when you manage young teams, although it is not definitive. There are teams that start well and suffer at the end, later others that start badly and that in the end are going up. As soon as we start to win and to add points, the better.”

Malaga’s coach gave a press conference on Thursday, he was giving a description about the main characteristics of Deportivo, “It’s an ordered group, very well organised and always difficult to surpass, besides they take advantage of the scored goals. Deportivo has very good players in the individual aspect; it also has velocity and the capability to be quickly organised in defence.”

About the state of the international players, the Asturian manager confirmed that Duda will be a starter against Depor, while he had more doubts about Obinna, “The worst part for him –Obinna- was the trip, because the combination of flights wasn’t the proper one. About Duda, he should be a starter, but we must check his physical state after playing the fully ninety minutes in both games with Portugal.”

Finally, Muñiz is hoping that his team won’t face the game with relaxation after the victory achieved in the first matchday, “After the break and the victory achieved, sometimes you are feeling relaxed, for that reason we, the coaching staff, are here, and it won’t happen in the game against Depor, we can’t lose the track. Since Tuesday we have been very demanding during the trainings. In the past game we worked well, if we commit too many defensive mistakes, there are small chances of winning. We must maintain the regularity. One of the things that we must demonstrate is to know where we must stand defensively.”



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