Competition news


26 Feb 2011
Depor’s coach told to reporters that his team will go out for the win, while he also confirmed that Guardado will be a starter. Meanwhile, the ‘special one’ was complaining of the referees and the schedules in liga.

José Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho is probably the most popular coach in today’s football; he is the son of Portuguese former goalkeeper José Félix Mourinho, After spells working as an assistant manager and a youth team coach in the early 1990s, he became an interpreter for Sir Bobby Robson. There, Mourinho learnt much from the veteran coach and worked with him at Sporting Clube de Portugal and FC Porto in Portugal, before following him to Spanish club FC Barcelona.

He began focusing on coaching and impressed with brief but successful managerial periods at Sport Lisboa e Benfica and União de Leiria. He returned to FC Porto in 2002, this time as head coach, and soon became a force to be reckoned with, winning the Portuguese Liga, Cup of Portugal, and UEFA Cup in 2003. Since then his career has been impressive as he achieved two UEFA Champions Leagues, two FA Premier Leagues, two England League Cups, one FA Cup, two Series A titles and one Copa Italia.

On 28 May 2010, it was confirmed that Mourinho would take over from Manuel Pellegriniat Real Madrid. On 31 May 2010, Mourinho was unveiled as the new manager of Real Madrid after signing a four-year deal at the club, and became the 11th coach in the past seven years at the Bernabéu. This is his second confrontation against Miguel Angel Lotina, and also the second time in which he visits the Riazor, this after clinching a crucial 1-0 win Porto for the semifinals of the 2003/04 edition of the UEFA Champions League.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Friday’s morning; he started announcing that Andres Guardado is going to be a starter in the game, “He is fine, but it isn’t right to see him playing for the full ninety minutes. We had the choice to put him since the start or in the second half. It’s almost worse to see him entering during the second part, because he wouldn’t have time for the warming up, so the most probable thing is to have him at the starting squad, though we know he will surely be replaced.”

Asked about more substitutions at his starting squad, the Basque trainer answered joking regarding last week’s goal of Aranzubia in Almeria, “You are the ones having the doubt of who will play in attack. But I don’t have any doubt. It could be Riki, Lassad, Aranzubia… sorry, I didn’t mean to say that, but if we have several corners we will put him at the area [he laughed]”

Lotina was also optimistic about the chances of his team towards this match, “We are all conscious that we need to be respectful with them, but they are also dropping points and won’t win all the matches. Luckily, they never felt comfortable at the Riazor, and with the support of the fans we will try to win the game. We aren’t going out thinking of screwing the rival, but thinking that we need to add, because the team needs the points.”

“We aren’t going out searching for the draw, and if you don’t believe me, then you can ask to the players that have been with me; I never presented a scheme going out for the draw. Tomorrow we are only thinking of the victory. The players know how we are going to play, because we have been working all week long on this, but what they don’t know yet are the three offensive and defensive things that we are going to make against Madrid.” He added.

Then the coach surprised the reporters as he emphasized a victory that he had over Mourinho when he was the coach of Celta, “Mourinho said the other day that he already defeated Lyon, and I can also say that I already defeated Mourinho, because a team of mine already defeated a team coached by him. It was when I was with Celta playing a friendly tournament in Portugal, we defeated Porto 0-1, then we played again and lost 0-2, but I don’t remember so well that match.”

The Meñaka-born trainer was also praising the current state of Cristiano Ronaldo, “We can say a lot of things about him, but he’s an animal as likes to win everything and always carries with the weight of the team on his shoulders. If they would have the liga title inside the pocket then we could say that his mind is totally focused on the Champions League, but it isn’t like that. Madrid can defeat us without been at 100%, and all thanks to the talent of its players.”

Finally, Lotina was making a comparison between Barcelona and Real Madrid, the two leading forces in la liga, “They are different, but for me they are the two best teams in the world. The common thing is that both press a lot in attack when they lose the ball, and this year they are making a step forward on this. They are also similar in the movements made in attack, but their output of the ball is different.”

Real Madrid’s coach gave a press conference on Friday’s evening; as is usual with him, Mourinho spent the time complaining of several issues, actually he barely talked of Deportivo or of his expectations towards the clash at the Riazor. He started complaining of the day and the hour of the matches, “"I speak, speak and speak, but have no strength in my words, neither the power to decide. But not all of us are complaining. Some have an easier life and it seems that they can choose at what time they want to play. These are privileges that we don’t have."

"Maybe they are laughing now, because they are the ones who have the power and make the decisions. It isn’t worth spending much time on this, because things are pretty clear. There are facts that sometimes make things complicated for us. For example, Malaga, plays on Monday and later they have to play on Thursday against us, and we play again on next Saturday. It doesn’t seem very normal to me. " He added.

Later, the Portuguese coach was complaining of the cards saw by his players, this after he was informed that his Real Madrid is the second team with more yellows in the history of Real, “From these stats I can only conclude that’s really easy to book our players. For similar actions there are teams with a lot of cards and others that are a little more protected. No need to go far on this. Just look at the last two weeks of competition and see how Casillas was easily sent off, and others who had to be sent off stayed on the pitch, and there are red cards that turn to be yellow, and yellow cards that end in nothing. With us, the yellow is red, then what’s nothing turns to be yellow and we're lucky that there are no oranges, if not we would also have more than anyone. "

The “special one” also rested importance to the countless rumours appointing to new signings during the winter window, “We would need two teams at Primera to put all these rumours on the pitch. Now we have 24. Plus Mateos, plus Callejón, plus Márques, plus Javi Martines, plus Cesc [Fabregas], plus Llorente, plus Borja Valero, plus Aguero, plus Drogba, plus Milito… in June we will have 50 men on here.”

Also, the ex-Inter coach doesn’t think that Barcelona is lowering the pace after the results had within the last week, "I don’t see Barca at a low level. It is normal to lose an away match in Champions League, and mainly against a great team like Arsenal, and I don’t think anything special if they tie a league match after winning sixteen straight games. They don’t seem to be lowering the level."

Finally, Mourinho had a few words on what he expects to meet at the Riazor, “The players' motivation comes from the fact that we are still alive in all the competitions. If we were 10 or 15 points behind the leaders then we wouldn’t have that motivation for la liga, but as we are in the fight for the three titles, it's easy to see players motivated for the match against Deportivo, which is a strong team at home, they need the points for the permanence and besides, historically, we haven’t done well there. We will have to work hard in order to win."



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