Competition news


13 Mar 2011
Fifth official confrontation between Lotina and Pochettino; both coaches were explaining the casualties as their teams; Depor’s coach was talking of improving the performance of Deportivo during the away games.

Mauricio Pochettino is an Argentine former player that spent his career between Newell's Old Boys,
RCD Espanyol, Paris Saint-Germain and Girondins Bordeaux. He completed 276 liga appearances for the Catalan side within his two periods at the club (1994-2000 and 2004-2006). He also completed 20 caps with Argentina’s national team, including one appearance in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. 

He was hired as the coach of Espanyol after José Manuel Esnal ‘Mané’ was fired at the start of 2009, and the results were good enough as the team stayed out of trouble. Now he is leading a good season that has put his team at the edge of the European positions. This is Pochettino’s fifth confrontation against Miguel Angel Lotina, who was his “teacher” when the Basque man was coaching the Catalan club. And Pochettino is leading the series with three wins against one for Lotina.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Saturday’s morning; he started affirming that Guardado won’t be a starter in the game, “I don’t think that Guardado will be a starter. I don’t even know if he will be on the bench or not. He is improving, but doesn’t feel safe. We must remember that in one week he had to play three matches, and besides he is feeling the anxiety due to our situation at the standings. That means tireness; he would be recuperated by now if we would have replaced the player at minute 70 of the past game.”

The Basque man said that he picked 20 player for the game, because he is also uncertain about the condition of right-back Laure, “He has been training well, but still have to check how his ankle evolves after today’s training. This is the reason why we are travelling with twenty players.” He also confirmed that Lassad Nouioui is fit to play, “He can be a starter, or also to play since minute 5 or 45.”

Later, he was expressing his hopes in improving the image of the team when it plays away from home, “We have high hopes in improving our performance outside home, this in order to have better options for a victory. This is the goal for tomorrow. The idea is to make things better and I believe that we can do it. It isn’t a matter of attitude, because in that aspect we have been fine, but a matter of doing things better.”

“It is important to add a positive result, because we will start to look at the bottom places from a farthest distance. We must have a better ball possession, because then we turn to be a more ambitious team. Maybe our team has it, but maybe we are missing more football.” He added.

Finally, Lotina was commenting about his return to Barcelona after spending a couple of years at Espanyol, “They are a respectful group of fans; they always supported me in key moments, so I am thankful with them. I would love to return to all the places where I´ve been, but I like to meet new places and cities. I am a conqueror. I like the new things.”

Espanyol’s coach gave a press conference on Saturday’s morning; he was emphasizing the fact that his team still strong at home, “Cornellá is still inspiring respect to the other teams in la liga. We deserve a good result in order to regain the confidence and add the points at home that will allow us to end the season in a good position. But neither can we go out thinking of the consequences, because it would condition us.”

Later he was talking of the situation with the several casualties at his team, “I don’t have doubts that we will be stronger as soon as we can regain some players. Besides, the young players coming from the youth teams are bringing their freshness and hope. Both teams have several casualties, but it isn’t an excuse. Osvaldo and Sergio García weren’t picked, because it was too soon for them.”

The Argentine man was also expressing his confidence in the Juvenil A squad, this after he decided to pick two midfielders from this team, “We have pretty interesting players at the Juvenil squad. The youth teams of Espanyol are one of the most praised schools at Primera and we have pretty good raw material, but we need tranquility and patience.”

Finally, Pochettino was talking of Deportivo, “They have fast people up front, they also manage strategic plays and are well placed on the pitch. They are a tough rival and it will be a disputed game. We need to be careful with the strategic plays, because they are strong on this subject and also because we are weak on this matter.”



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