Squad news


27 Sep 2009
Ninth confrontation between Valverde and Lotina; Depor’s manager didn’t give any hint about the line-up, though he assured that Juca will probably miss the clash. Meanwhile, Villarreal’s coach is convinced about the chance of a victory.

Ernesto Valverde Tejedor is an ex-player that made his career in the 80’s and 90’s, in 2003 he started his career as a coach and is returning to the Spanish league after achieving the double title in Greece with Olympiakos FC (league & Copa). Previously he trained Athletic Bilbao (2003-2005) and RCD Espanyol (2006/2008), in this last club he reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 2007.

For the present season he is replacing Manuel Pellegrini at Villarreal FC, important club that’s targeting the Champions League spots. The match represents the ninth confrontation between Miguel Angel Lotina and Valverde. Valverde has the advantage in the series since he has won four of the previous eight games, while Lotina has only been able to add two wins.

During the season 2007/2008, both managers faced each other in four opportunities, two for liga and two for Copa Del Rey. In the first clash Espanyol won the liga game with a 1-0 score at Montjuic, in the second it was a 1-1 draw for Copa (1st leg), again played at Montjuic, the second leg meant a new victory for the Catalans (1-2 at the Riazor), and Lotina got his revenge in liga with a 2-0 win in La Coruña.
Depor’ coach gave a press conference on Saturday’s morning; he was explaining the situation with Juca, “At the beginning Juca is the one with the biggest problems, because both of his knees are tired. Right now he has a small chance to play, though we will wait until the last minute: However I see it difficult. Juca is a player that still has to adapt to our game, we are more paused than him. He’s competitive and never complains. He enjoys of football and we will take advantage of him.”

And that was the only hint that Lotina gave about the lineup, because later he didn’t want to confirm any other novelty, “Sometimes, we, the coaches, don’t want to see the rival getting an idea of our starting eleven, because it creates doubts ahead of a match. Besides, since the players don’t know anything yet, they will be pending on what’s going to happen, and I don’t want to see them informed by the papers.”

For the Basque coach, a key for the game is the intensity of the team at the pitch, and also at the stands, “We must transmit to our fans the same sensation we had in Jerez. I want to left clear that since the first moment we are going out to fight for any ball, and everybody should realise that we have learned from the errors we have committed in the home matches.”

He was asked about the situation of the players that aren’t entering into the list for the games (Bodipo, Piscu and Angulo); the response was that, “They are working well. As example, Bodipo is better compared to one month ago. I also explained the situation to Angulo, his problem is that he can only play on the left, while Laure and Manuel Pablo can play at both sides, we are happy with him and knows that he will have minutes, but is difficult when you have on of the best side defenders in front of you. Adrián also is also working hard; he is not going down and will have occasions throughout the year.”

Finally, the ex-Espanyol manager was trying to be cautious with Villarreal, rival that he respects despite the moment lived by the Valencian club, “Villarreal is a big team and they can’t allow a start in liga with so few points, though they are not practicing a bad football. We are just not going to make things easier for them.”

Txingurri talked to reporters on Friday, he’s under pressure due to the current position of his team and people starts to question if he will be able to match the expectations, however he was convinced about a win in La Coruña, “I am convinced that we will achieve the victory at the Riazor. It’s clear that we are missing the faculty of been adding the three points, and right now what we want to do is to face the next game with the maximum guarantee.”

At the same time, Valverde was talking about the needs of his squad, “I think we miss a little of everything, but I don’t see the team so bad to not have achieved a win yet. However we should start to add victories soon, because the team is, more or less, working. We always face difficulties during the first half; we have the tendency to attack by the centre, which is not right, especially for the wingers. If you only have game by the centre, then you become predictable, that’s why you need to play by the centre and also on the wings.”

Finally, the former coach of Olympiakos FC was praising the game of Deportivo, “Depor is an ordered team a rival that’s very difficult to surpass; they have a pretty strong defence. Besides, they are dangerous with the counterattack. We must be alert at the moment we lose the ball, because they can surprise us in a counterattack.”



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