Competition news


23 Mar 2010
After six previous confrontations Lotina still searching for his first victory over Manolo Preciado; both coaches said that they still don’t know what changes they will make to their lineups.

Manuel ‘Manolo’ Preciado Rebolledo is a 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 six opportunities. All of those confrontations occurred at Primera Division and five 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 story 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). For the present campaign Lotina clinched his only draw as both team ended 1-1 at the Riazor (matchday 09)

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Monday, just before the trip to Gijón; he was admitting that he hasn’t decided yet the type of scheme that will be used for the match, “I still valorizing the system, today the team was still restless and we didn’t test anything in particular, therefore we will take a final decision until tomorrow as we see the players’ condition. This could change the draw.”

Later, the Basque explained the physical situation of some of his players, “Lopo has an important problem, let’s see how he is tomorrow, but it’s the position in which we are more covered. Lassad is not okay. I already said after the game with Valladolid that he was having some issues. He was better yesterday, so it was today, but still have some issues in the same region of the scar and isn’t ready to play as a starter. On Saturday he played for 30 minutes at a good pace, but the pitch was soft, he didn’t make the pre-season and the logical thing is to see him having some issues. He will play in Getafe and later will follow a special reinforcement work during the pre-season.”

“The same goes for Mista, we are recovering Riki and I consider that he has to go for this game, there’s nobody else. We must be careful with Riki because he is a powerful player, he won’t be a starter but we will have him available for 30 or 45 minutes. With Sergio I don’t think he will have further problems after the injury, but is missing match fitness.” He added.

About Juca’s departure to Brazil, the coach said that, “Lassad asked me the same and I assumed the responsibility, Zé Castro wanted to be with his family, we knew what was going on with him and wanted to feel the love of his family, and the subject of Juca is a matter of him and the doctors.”

After the setback against Valladolid, Lotina was still optimistic about the European chances of his team, “We are in the ideal zone, better to see people talking of Mallorca, Sevilla or Athletic Bilbao… if we are one or two points behind them then we are just talking of one game of difference, and as long as we stay quiet the better. So I am not worried, I am just worried for been recovering the team. For Sunday I hope to have Lassad available, and maybe Andrés Guardado. We are going to have more options and within the last six or eight matchdays is when we need to be there.”

Finally, Depor’s trainer was warning that Sporting is going to be a tough opponent, “Surely it is going to be a complicate rival, because they are playing well since achieving the promotion, and they have a great offensive power with a lot of arrivals. But my team has already showed a strong mentality after suffering important setbacks.”

Sporting’s coach gave a press conference on Monday; he was trying to avoid new polemics after all that has been said and written with the work of the referees for the game against Real Madrid, but in the end he spent almost the half of the press conference talking of the issue, “We must now focus on Deportivo, we were in Madrid and, as I said it on Friday, tried to win a match and that’s what we have done. We made good and bad things, but it’s very difficult. I think we came back with the sensation of doing a nice job, but the media in Madrid accuses us of been scoring a goal in offside and committing six penalties, it’s a shame. But our team played good football without throwing kicks.”

“We need to turn the page as Depor arrives tomorrow, but I was reading today a national paper that wrote that it wasn’t a hand (Van der Vaart’s goal for Real Madrid) and later you end thinking they believe we have a bad eyesight… I don’t know, things are simple and clear.” He added

Later he was talking of the current situation of the squad, “We are now screwed and had a conversation with the players. We tried to correct the things we made badly in the past game, though I understand the pain in the first goal that caused the other two goals. It was a pity but we were 1-1 and it was an error to allow the other goals. Now the target is to be recovered, because we only had 72 hours for the rest, though the same happens to Depor, and that’s what interest me, to be physically fit and return to be a powerful team at home. “

The Cantabrian coach also announced changes for the game, “We will see changes, not that I want to punish somebody, but to refresh the squad in some positions, that’s why we could have modifications, without drastic changes. That’s why I am concentrating the team at Mareo (the training ground of Sporting), because I want to see their physical state and because the effort was big in the last game and some people are affected. Anybody working on today’s training has a chance. We play again on Sunday and that’s why we need to focus in everything. We will have three or four changes, but I still have to think, I don’t want to fool anyone and already have an idea on my head, but it will depend on the status of the players”

About the win of Valladolid at the Riazor, he said that, “What was surprising to me was to realise that Valladolid had seven or eight straight games without a victory, just for been a statistic. We all know la liga is very tight, it could have happened to anybody. No one is already relegated and must respect anybody. We still have a comfortable advantage, but must be cautious.”

Finally, Preciado talked of Deportivo, “Lately Depor is switching the system, because they are having big problems with the injuries, so I don’t know how they will come. I was just asking the press secretary to get information on the players that will come, I know they are recovering important people like Sergio and Riki and it seems that Lassad is fine. I don’t know who I’m going to meet; I just know we are going to play against a team that’s doing a wonderful season and that they are fighting for important things like the European goal. They will come motivated, but also affected for the defeat against Valladolid, that’s for sure, so let’s see if we are stronger enough to defeat team. Any defeat makes you feel screwed; they were counting with those three points (against Valladolid) and surely will want to recover them against us. But I always say that I prefer to face a rival arriving after losing a game. “



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