Competition news


03 Apr 2011
Fourth confrontation between these two coaches; Lotina gave several explanations about the status of some of his players, while Laudrup is only focused on the permanence and denies talking of European goals.

Michael Laudrup is a retired Danish footballer that started his career as a coach on the year 2000. His most prominent run as a player came with Catalan club Barcelona FC, team where he conquered four straight liga championships. He famously moved to arch rivals Real Madrid in 1994, side where he added another liga trophy to his gallery.

After ending his career at FC Ajax, Laudrup became a coach when he was 36 as he started serving as an assistant for the Danish national team coached by Morten Olsen. Later he moved to Brøndby IF in 2002 and arrived to la liga in 2007 to direct the successful campaign of Getafe to the final of the Copa Del Rey plus the Quarterfinals in the UEFA Cup. He later moved to FC Spartak Moscow and failed there, because he signed an 18-month contract, however, the Danish man spent only seven months in the job, being sacked on 15 April 2009 after Spartak's 0–3 loss to FC Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Cup.

After this disappointment Laudrup decided to return to la liga and signed for RCD Mallorca, despite the club was living a deep financial crisis. It's the fourth time in which Laudrup faces Miguel Angel Lotina; the previous three meetings ended in a draw.

Depor’s coach gave a 10-minute press conference on Saturday’s morning, he started describing the importance of the game, “Evidently… we know of the importance of the game… we all are eager to play. It’s a final, I guess it won’t be the last one, but surely tomorrow we have our first final. We know that we have an important debt with the fans, at least in terms of attitude. We must be positive and keep working on Monday, but these three points are important.”

The Basque coach also gave several hints about the status of his players, starting with the duo that will play at midfield, “I have decided that the pivote positions will be for Ruben [Pérez] and Juan [Rodriguez]… he… the day of Levante we played with Antonio [Tomás] and Juan [Rodriguez] in a more advanced position, but Juan never felt comfortable on that function. Of the five players that we have available, I´ve decided to play with Ruben and Juan.”

Later he said that his only doubt is the fitness of Riki, “I don’t have any doubt at the lineup. My only doubt is a personal matter and is related to Riki. I know he is feeling ready and eager, the doctors also said that he is fine, but his medical record makes me wonder what to do with him. I still have to decide if he will be part of the final list. But yes, I already know how we will play. We want to have the ball possession, not to presume in front of the fans, but to have bigger chances of winning the game.”

Another comment of the Meñaka-born trainer was related to the situation of Andrés Guardado, “The evolution of Guardado has been good. We only had the problem of the match against Real Sociedad, when he had to play the full ninety minutes, and for that reason he didn’t play against Espanyol. That has been the only problem. Later he played with Mexico and it was good for him, because he scored a goal and played some minutes. Now he is fine and physically strong. He is ready to play for the full ninety minutes.”

More vague were his comments regarding the possible appearance of Morel as starter, “Logically, if he plays is because he is fit to play. When a player only makes one good or bad training session you must doubt of it. But if repeats the performance for several weeks, then you are sure that he is fine. If he plays is because I think that he is ready to play.”

There were also some comments related to Adrian and Valerón, “It might me [a reporter asked about Adrian playing as a solo striker] but probably Adrian will play towards the wing. Valerón is fine and could help the team, that’s why he is part of the list. I see that he’s fine.”

Lotina also denied that the pressure for been living so close to the relegation zone is a factor affecting his job, “All the coaches have a big pressure, look to what Guardiola said on this week, but I always say that you should know how to deal with the pressure. If you don’t feel any pressure, then you won’t be able to please the fans. You must have it, and it couldn’t force you to lose the nerves.”

About the rival, the coach praised the policy of Mallorca related to the youth teams “Mallorca plays good football; it is following the line of their coach. Mallorca has one of the best coaches working in this country and is pulling interesting players from the B squad, which makes an interesting balance at the team.”

Finally, Lotina was feeling happy with the support of the fans as they are planning a concentration at the stadium to cheer up the players, “At this moment we must assume the situation, and the support of the fans is positive. Do you remember what I said before the game against [Real] Madrid? I said that would love to see Madrid coming every weekend, this for the environment at the stadium.”

Mallorca’s coach gave a press conference on Friday; he started warning of the difficulty of the match to be played at the Riazor, “A tough game is waiting for us, because the rival wants to demonstrate that they can play better compared to what they did against Levante. We must be prepared to face a rival living close to the dangerous zone, and surely they want to add the three points in order to put some distance with the pit.”

The Danish man also believes that any side scoring the first goal could have a big advantage on this meeting, “The first goal could be very important and could worth the game. We don’t know how to play with ten men locked at the back zone, and surely they won’t do the same as they are playing at home. Anyhow, I haven’t spoken too much with my players, because I don’t want to see them obsessed with this game.”

Previously to the press conference, Laudrup gave an interview to Sportpaper AS and analyzed the current goals of the team, “You can’t have two goals at the same time, our first target is the permanence, and will look for other things until reaching the mark of the 42 points, let’s see how many games will remain on the schedule. We will see if we have enough time for another goal before the season ends. Until reaching that mark we can’t fight for two goals.”

“A win on this match will put us with 41 points, almost reaching the mark of 42, which normally means to clinch the permanence, but I insist, it will be difficult, because Depor is also making its own calculations and was counting with the home points against Levante and Mallorca, with those six points they would have 37, and they already lost the first three.” He added.

Finally, he was criticizing the impression left by the Spanish la liga with the recently aborted strike, “For me and others this league is among the top two leagues in Europe, alongside the Premier League, and I believe that we must give a better impression. How can it be that by August you already know the 90% of the dates in England? If the problem is the television, well they also have television on there, isn’t? I don’t get it. Is it useful a one-day strike? If people believe that the situation has reached a limit, then you should sit and if there’s no agreement, then the season 2011/12 doesn’t start.”



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