Squad news


06 Jan 2010
Miguel Angel Lotina still searching for his first victory over Unai Emery; the Basque coach confirmed that Piscu and Ze Castro will be starters, while Valencia’s coach didn’t want to confirm any player for the game.

Unai Emery and Miguel Angel Lotina have met in six previous occasions in la liga, the current coach of Valencia has won the first four matches, while the last two ended in a draw. The last confrontation occurred just a few weeks ago as Deportivo and Valencia ended scoreless at the Riazor during the last liga game of 2009.

Emery started the season questioned for not been able to put Valencia at the Champions League tournament of the current campaign, but the criticism towards the Fuenterrabía-born coach has disappeared in just a few months as Valencia is currently the third place at the liga standings.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference in Valencia during Monday’s morning, he started announcing the names of the couple at the centre of the defence, “We will have changes, I do not yet how many; I still have to decide since there is a player with a little physical problem, but… at defence Piscu and Ze Castro will play at the centre, that’s for sure and about the rest, we will try to compensate the team in the best possible way. It’s logical to have changes since people is working really well, but always trying to keep a strong squad, because we are facing a strong rival. Lopo has a small problem in the knee, anyway he was not going to play tomorrow, so we will see how he is for Sunday. “

Asked about what he expects to meet at Valencia, the Basque manager said that “I do know what they are going to do, but I am not worried about it, I am just worried of my team. The draw in Copa was really tough, and it also means a challenge. Everybody realizes that the favourite teams to win the Copa are coming from these ties, with Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia, so the draw has been difficult, but it is a pretty challenge for us, we are facing it with hope and will try to make things difficult for Valencia.”

“We know we have our chances and respect Valencia, they have a great squad, but we are also in great form and tomorrow will try to obtain a good result to try to face the ninety minutes at the Riazor at the top. At this moment we only think of passing the round, the Copa is won since the semifinals stage.” He added.

Later the coach was asked about any special coverage over Zigic, who has been announced as a starter at Valencia “He is a ladder, if he plays it means more aerial game; if Villa plays, it means more passes by the inside; if both plays, it means a little of both worlds. You always need to have in mind the characteristics of the rival, but can’t be obsessed with it. We must be alert, but without any special mark.”

Finally, Lotina said that he is more worried about the performance of his team than of any possible result in this first leg, “It depends, for me the important thing is the football that we practice. A 0-0 is good, but we always give more importance to the sensations. We only try to keep our identity: the order and the same attitude. The best result for us is that our people realise that they are counting. I do believe that Depor and Valencia are among the best teams in defence, both only commit a few mistakes.”

Valencia’s coach gave a press conference on Tuesday’s evening and he started talking about the calendar in January, “"The schedule will be hectic, if we pass the tie, let's hope so, we can end playing a lot of games. All depends on the importance that Deportivo gives to the Cup, which warns us about the difficulty to achieve the pass. Also, to remember that two seasons ago Valencia was the champion. We can not forget the importance of reaching the farthest round. We are facing the tie with the greatest interest.”

Emery didn’t want to confirm if Silva and Vicente, two players retuning from injuries, are going to play the game, “Silva is ready to play since the moment he is part of the list, he is available though doubtful for been out during a long time. He is close to feeling totally recovered. About Vicente, he needs a lot of work in the trainings, to see him feeling as a player so he can be important during a game. Tomorrow he has some options to play.”

The Fuenterrabía-born didn’t even want to confirm if Zigic is going to be a starter, though all the papers are predicting it, “Nicola has also played in other matches and has options to start tomorrow. If anything stands out about him is his consistency and preparation to play. Then there are days in which he plays, others don’t, the other day he helped us with an important goal. From that point, the more he plays, the more options he has to help the team, and hopefully will continue to have that ability to score. “

About the tie with Depor, the coach of Valencia said that is going to be a tough one, “Very hard because Deportivo has no European competition and is excited with the Cup. You just have to see the preparation they have made, with a concentration near to Valencia, and want to do a good tournament. I predict a very equal tie in which the knowledge of how to dispute the 180 minutes will be important, not conceding a goal at home too, to know how to find the ways of their defensive zone, which is very strong, with few spaces ... we work in order to find them, to see the fans happy with their team .... We want to make an intense game.”

Precisely, Emery said that his intention is to repeat the same intensity saw in the second half  against RCD Espanyol, “The goal is to make in the whole game what we did against Espanyol in the second half, moment when we had five chances to score. At home, the team must always feel that idea, and before we must have a strong team defensively. We want to be near to their goal, to make good transitions to defend their counterattacks ... in resume, to be superior to Deportivo as we did against Espanyol.”



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