Squad news


07 Feb 2010
Lotina faces López Muñiz for the sixth time in his career; Depor’s coach was describing February as a key month and the game as fundamental, while Malaga’s manager wants to add a second straight win for the first time on the season.

Juan Ramón López Muñiz is an ex-defender that performed in the past for Sporting Gijón, Rayo Vallecano and Numancia. Totally, he completed 234 matches at Primera División. He retired in the year 2001, then he started to work as the second coach of RCD Espanyol, later he did the same at Malaga CF. Then he was the main coach of UD Marbella, and for the season 2006/2007 he returned to Malaga FC, this time he clinched the promotion to Primera División, reason why he was hired as the coach of Racing Santander for the past campaign. And for the season 2009/2010 he is returning to Malaga for the third time, though now playing at the elite. The Gijón-born coach was close to be fired after the poor start on this season, but the latest results allowed his continuity.

This is the sixth confrontation for the Asturian manager against Miguel Angel Lotina, the first two meetings occurred in the last-16 round of the Copa Del Rey 2006/2007. At the time Lotina was coaching Real Sociedad and Muñiz was working with Málaga FC. Each side won one of the legs, but Muñiz was able to advance to the next round as Malaga won the tie with a 5-3 aggregate score. The next two confrontations took place on the past season, the first was a 0-0 between Racing and Depor, and the second a 5-3 win for the Galicians, finally Lotina clinched his third win in the series at the start of the present liga campaign as his Depor defeated Malaga at the Riazor (1-0, matchday 02)

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Saturday’s morning; he started describing the game at La Rosaleda as fundamental, “It is true that all the points are important, the defeat against Real Madrid harmed us for all the expectations that were created, but in the end nobody sees against who you earned the points. Now we are facing a Malaga that’s playing great football. We are also conscious that this is a tough stadium and that we have to demonstrate that this team is a real team, in that sense I will call this match fundamental.”

And it’s that Lotina believes that February will be the key month to reinforce the European chances of Depor, “We start a month in which the situation is more stable. People are starting to get recover, and the trainings are more normal since we are only playing on Sundays, therefore we know that this month is going to mark our goals for the season.”

“My goal is to see the team ending the season at the highest possible position, there isn’t something else, later we will see what happens. Let’s hope that we will be able to play a European competition on the next season, because it brings prestige to the team, it gives a push up to the club and it’s a pride for the fans.” He added.

The thing that surprised the reporters that witnessed the last training session before the game was the presence of Laure as a left-back defender, something that Lotina explained later, “Both can play in that position, Laure and Manuel Pablo, but we want to see Laure covering more his side and on the left he will have more aids.” He also confirmed that two strikers will be in the starting eleven, “At the beginning, the only doubt, because I now have some doubts, is between Bodipo, Riki and Adrián. Two of them will play. I will decide it tomorrow. Any of them could play.” 

Finally, the Meñaka-born coach was relieved to think that Guardado is returning for next week’s clash at RCD Espanyol, “Fortunately I believe that next week we are going to recover Guardado. Right now I believe we have people to cover the left wing, but none of the alternatives is used to play there. The same happens at the right wing. Adrián and Riki can do it and I believe that for the next game Guardado already will be at 100%

Malaga’s coach gave two press conferences during the week; the first one was on Thursday and he was analysing the characteristics of Deportivo, “We will host a rival that has a great regularly and that knows how to yield its goals. Deportivo is a team with clear ideas. They know what they are doing, possess a good strategy and are at the top of the table due to their own merits. Deportivo never fears to face any situation, which is a virtue.”

Later he was insisting about converting La Rosaleda into a fortress, “It is important to keep a good level at home, this means to add the points, we need to feel supported, to feel like a hard and tough team to beat. We also need to conquer the expected goal and add a second straight victory. We need to seize the points added at the Calderón, to add a second victory and keep climbing positions.”

Muñiz had a also a few words to the 4-4-1-1 scheme that he has been using in recent matches, “The team is adapting well to this style of playing, we have achieved good results and are having good sensations with it. The important thing is to have alternatives and adapt the players that you have on the pitch.”

The second press conference took place on Saturday; in this occasion the Asturian manager analysing the casualties and the novelties that he has for the game, “We have a few casualties, one of them for suspension. Edu (Ramos) has a small issue and we prefer to see the doctor taking the case on Monday. Patrick (Mtiliga) was fine in the last training, he is feeling fine and doesn’t have any problem, while Obinna was tired after the long trip, but was fine and is prepared after playing for his national team.”

Finally, Muñiz gave a new comment about Deportivo, “We will try to match the level and defeat Depor, a rival that’s occupying the top places due to its own merits. It is a tough rival to beat, but we will try to follow the same line in order to clinch the three points, always having the patience of the world in the attempt to win the game.”



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