Competition news


19 Sep 2009
Second official confrontation between Lotina and Pochettino; the Basque is facing his former club, a team he described as ‘irregular’ though he is aware of their potential. Meanwhile Pochettino is not worried for been at the bottom of the standings.

Mauricio Pochettino is an Argentine ex-player that shared his career between Newell's Old Boys, RCD Espanyol, Paris Saint-Germain and Girondins Bordeaux. Pochettino played 276 liga matches with the Catalan side during his two periods there (1994-2000 and 2004-2006). He also completed 20 caps with Argentina’s national team, including one appearance in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. 

This is his first experience as a coach. He took the job after José Manuel Esnal ‘Mané’ was fired at the start of the present year, and the results were good as Espanyol saved itself from the abysm. This is Pochettino’s second confrontation against Miguel Angel Lotina; the previous was last season’s 3-1 win of Espanyol at Montjuic.

Depor’s coach talked at Abegondo’s press room just after Friday’s training session, it’s expected that he will repeat the lineup of the past game, but contrary to what happened on the last weekend, the Basque didn’t want to confirm it, “We will wait for tomorrow, maybe we could repeat it or maybe we could make a couple of changes. Right now I won’t think of the game at Xérez (Wednesday), just of Espanyol. We also think that we have an additional day for the rest since we play on Saturday. Adrian and Lassad are ready to be starters, but not to play for the fully ninety minutes. The tireness could affect them. I don’t think that both will start at the same time.”

He was also asked about the absence of Iván Pérez in the list for the game, his answer was, “I do my stuff and there are other players that can perform at the right side, not only Iván. We must work hard and extract the best from this squad, we can’t be crying, what already happened is part of the past.”

About the rival, Lotina described Espanyol as an ‘irregular’ team, “Since a while ago, Espanyol has been characterized for been a team with the capacity to score goals, but also very irregular. What has happened on this year is that they have made good signings, although their pre-season was tough. They have quality people like Verdú or Nakamura, an Argentinean international player (Dani Parejo) or a man coming from Chelsea (Ben Sahar).”

“In Bilbao they had the weight of the game at their shoulders, and against (Real) Madrid they could have reached half-time winning the game, their results can be deceiving. I heard in Madrid a conversation in which people said that Depor smelled to Segunda División, but the analysis must be made with the pass of time, any conclusion at this point of the season is very daring.” He warned.

The ex-Espanyol coach was also praising the personality of Joan Verdú, ex-Depor playmaker that joined the Catalan side during the summer, “Verdú is like any other men that we have on the changing room, he is the perfect son-in-law, in that aspect people is happy with him.”

Finally, the Meñaka-born trainer was relieved to know that the case of Lafita is over, though he has ended in Zaragoza, “I am happy for Lafita, he had a good behaviour with the club, with the team and with the players, and we thank him for this. I will always think the same of him, because he has demonstrated it, no matter where he is now.”

Espanyol’s coach talked on Tuesday during a press conference, he was assuring that the defeats during the first two matchdays shouldn’t affect the nerves of his players, “We can’t be talking about emergencies at matchday three. However, it’s clear that to add points will bring confidence and will allow us to clarify the ideas and believe in what we are doing. We are going there trying to achieve a good result and wanting to pick up the three points.”

No matter the defeats, the Argentine manager is quite happy about the performance of his team, “During 75 minutes, against (Real) Madrid, the team was fine. It gave the impression that the equaliser was coming. Anyhow, you pay the price if you are not effective. We must end the plays; fortunately the team is creating opportunities and it’s offering a good level in every aspect.”

One of the things criticised to his team is the lack of goals, actually Espanyol is one of the three sides in la liga that haven’t scored any goal yet, about this aspect Pochettino was defending his team, “The goals will come, because we have quality players at this squad. I am not worried for have ended scoreless in the first two games. I don’t just analyse the final result, but the performance of the team, and in that sense everything is acceptable.”

Later, on Friday and before the trip to La Coruña, Pochettino talked again to reporters and reaffirmed that he is not worry for the position of his team in the standings, “It’s anecdotic to be occupying the last place after the second matchday. I would be worried if this would be happening at matchday ten, but it’s too soon. We have a clear idea of what we are doing and we trust in ourselves.”

Finally, the ex-defender praised the level of Deportivo, “It’s a great team, one that keeps the base of the past season and that has had a good start. They lost at the Bernabéu, but later won against Malaga and are living a good situation. At least it's better than ours. They are a balanced team, no matter they lost players like Joan Verdú or Angel Lafita, they have recovered a fundamental player like Valerón, besides they have someone like Filipe Luis.”



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