Competition news


01 Nov 2009
Lotina still searching for his first victory against Manolo Preciado, this after five previous confrontations. The Basque was saying that Lopo is doubtful for the game, while the Cantabrian said that he prefers to stay focused on the permanence.

Manuel ‘Manolo’ Preciado Rebolledo is an Cantabrian ex-player that made almost his entire career performing for Racing Santander. During the year 1995 he debuted as the coach of Gimnástica de Torrelavega, team that was playing at Tercera División and that was promoted to Segunda B thanks to the solid work of Preciado. Later he coached the first and the second squad of Racing and arrived to Sporting Gijón during the year 2006. And there he achieved his second promotion to Primera during the 2007/2008 campaign (the previous occasions was with Levante during the season 2003/2004).

So far, Preciado and Miguel Angel Lotina have met each other in five occasions. All of those confrontations occurred at Primera Division and all of them were won by the Cantabrian coach. The first one was played on the season 2002/2003 as Preciado’s Racing defeated Lotina’s Celta with a 3-0 score (matchday 14). The following two confrontations occurred in the 2005/2006 campaign. Preciado returned to Racing for that season, while Lotina was working with RCD Espanyol,  Preciado’s team won at El Sardinero (1-0, matchday 04) and later it repeated at Montjuic (2-0, matchday 23). And it was the same on the past season as Preciado’s Sporting trashed Lotina’s Depor at the Riazor (3-0, matchday 08).and at El Molinón (3-2, matchday 27).

Depor’s coach gave a press conference after Saturday’s training; he started explaining the situation with Lopo, “I have picked twenty players because Lopo is sick. If he is fit for the game, then a central defender will stay out for the match and I don’t have doubts for the rest of the lineup, but I have a doubt for the list of picked players. I can tell you that Lopo will only play if he’s at one hundred percent. Lopo is completing his best season since he’s at Primera División, he’s focused and keeping a solid level. If he keeps playing like this, we can say that he is one of the best central defenders in the league.”

The Basque manager was asked if he is going to repeat the lineup, but he didn’t want to give clues and preferred to talk about striker Adrián, “He has to grow little by little. There are seasons in which you are on shape and others in which you aren’t. Adrian has talent and someday it will show up. It might be that Lassad will play, maybe we will repeat formation with Adrián, also we might see Valerón… I have several alternatives up there.”

Despite that Depor is one of the best offensive lines in liga, Lotina was saying that his team is having problems to score the goals because it’s a predictable team, “We are having difficulties trying to score the goals. Last year we weren’t predictable, and this year we are, we lost Verdú and Lafita and the team is having problems in attack, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have talent or good players.”

Finally, the Basque manager was talking about the environment that he expects to meet at the Riazor, “It is going to be a tough match, because we all know the numbers of fans moved by Sporting, they like to travel and that plays in favour of their team, because they feel motivated. We must be prepared. We are content with our own fans. The team must be focused on the pitch and that will have an influence on the public. We must try to hook them up and to get into our game.”

Sporting’s coach talked to reporters on Friday, he was asked if his players were motivated to win in order to reach the Europa league, and his response was that, “I am not motivated, neither in a sporting nor in a economic sense, but the Champions League is more attractive. It’s true that Sporting is doing the right things, but the only thing that matter is the last matchday, because to lose a couple of games could mean to be back at the bottom of the table. It’s good to have twelve points at this moment of the season, and I can’t deny that we are fine, but for me our goal is always the next game. I think that everybody has both feet on the ground and what matters is to reach the mark of forty-five points.”

Later Preciado confirmed that he will repeat the starting eleven that drew against Real Madrid on the past weekend, “The team will be very similar and practically the same one that has played within the last weeks. It’s going to be a complicate game, but we are going out for everything.”

About the rival, the Cantabrian said that the defeat against Valladolid was an accident while he rested importance to the 0-3 win of the past season, “The last season is in the past. They arrive after a tough defeat but that was an accident, they have a magnificent team and their numbers are the best proof. At home Depor knows how to seize its goals and it’s a ordered team. We saw how they tied up Sevilla, one of the best teams in la liga, it scored a goal and picked up the three points. Any side scoring the first goal has the advantage to win the game.”

“I haven’t seen Depor on this season, but truly they are doing a great campaign.  They made good signings, especially in midfield. They are doing a great work in defence and are taking advantage of the set-pieces. We need to be careful in those kind of actions.” He added.

Finally, Preciado was happy to know that 8,000 Asturians are traveling with the team to Galicia, “We are talking about a lot of people; it’s pleasing and a special ingredient for the motivation of the players and the whole team. Last year I couldn’t believe when I saw so many people over there, and in this occasion it seems we will see more.”



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