Competition news


23 Jan 2010
It's the newest battle between the last two coaches of Deportivo; both coaches have faced each other in sixteen previous opportunities and Lotina lead the series with eight victories for his side.

Miguel Angel Lotina and Joaquín Caparrós know each other really well, a few coaches at Primera División have had so many meetings in the past, and it’s that this is the seventeenth confrontation between these two men (fifteen times in liga and two in Copa del Rey). So far Lotina accumulates eight wins, while Caparrós added five, the other three matches ended in a draw.

A curiosity for the game is that Caparrós has never won at the Riazor when he has coached the rival of Deportivo, so far he has visited La Coruña in six opportunities and the best result he has achieve was a 2-2 draw with Sevilla during the liga season 2004/2005. In the other five matches the Utrera-born trainer was defeated by Depor, and in the last two visits to the Riazor, his Athletic went back to Bilbao with six goals received.

Lotina didn’t attend to Abegondo on Friday because he was at the dentist, therefore his assistant, José Luis Ribera, was the one that gave the usual press conference. He started talking of the importance of this game, “Tomorrow’s game is very important, because, besides to the three points, we need to wash away the image of the last two defeats, which were painful results.”

The ex-Depor defender was insisting that the tiredness still affecting his squad, “We can’t give as an excuse the casualties at the squad, though today we only trained with 15 players. Beyond that, the players have accumulated a lot of minutes, and that factor always affects their performance. We are only a few, but are fine. The important thing is to see our people going out to give everything and not thinking if they are tired or not, because for that reason we have people on the bench.”

“When the Copa ends, then we will have more time to recover the players, and it will be great for the team. We are passing a through a difficult moment in which the last two games are complicating our confidence and the intention of the team is to revert the situation.” He added.

There’s a big mystery regardless to the possible system to be used against Athletic, it is expected a 4-2-3-1 figure, but Ribera said that they are contemplating the possibility of keeping the system with 5 defenders, “We are studying it, the other day we thought it was the right thing to do due to the available people that we had at the moment, and also for the rival we were facing. We’ll search the best way to play the game.”

He also commented about the absence of Juan Rodriguez for the encounter at the Riazor, “To lose a player is always something important, if we are talking of someone who plays every Sunday, then it’s more important. Juan brings a lot of things; one of those things is the aerial game, but we also have other people.”

Finally, Ribera was giving his opinion about the rival, “They are a very demanding rival, a team that is very physical and that pressures a lot. They will try to impose a high pace because they didn’t play in midweek. Our latest two results might force you to think that the team isn’t fine, but the players that are going out must be confident that they will do a nice job.”   

The coach of Athletic gave a press conference on Friday’s morning; he started talking of his return to the Riazor, “When you return to the place where you happily worked for two years, it is always different than to do it to a place where you never had an emotional connection. But when a coach enters into a pitch, he doesn’t know if it’s raining, if the weather is cold or hot. You forget everything and don’t even remember where you are.”

Later he praised the performance of Lotina’s Deportivo on this season, “They are fifth on the standings due to their own merits, and the truth is that they are completing a great season. It is a powerful team at home and can score a goal at any moment, later is difficult to score against them and have players that can break the balance of a match. It is a well worked team by a magnificent coach.”

Asked about the several casualties at Deportivo for the game, the Andalusian trainer said that it shouldn’t affect the performance of the team, “The objectives for the season are achieved by the full squad and not by five or seven players. It is going to be tough despite the result on Copa on the other day; the big score of the last game won’t affect them, because they are professionals and know how to disconnect from one game to the other.”

About his own team, the Utrera-born manager was analysing what Athletic must do at the Riazor, “We have to demonstrate the same level that we have shown in past matches. It is going to be complicated, but we are ready to give everything and achieve a positive result. It should be a similar game to the one of the past season. Even the 1-3 of the past year was a close match, because the last goal came in the stoppage time and we missed a penalty.”

“We can’t go out waiting to see what’s going to happen, on the contrary, we must try to reach the end of the game without lamenting of the things we should have done; we can’t have doubts. We must use all our resources in order to not end the match complaining about the result.” He added.

Finally, Athletic Bilbao also arrives to the game with some casualties at its squad, but for Caparrós it isn’t something to feel sorry about, “We won’t complain of the players we don’t have. The man going out will do it convinced that he will do a wonderful job. We can’t think of the casualties, because in a competition is impossible to present the same lineup game after game. What we must try to do is to promote the competition and search the balance at the team.”



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