Competition news


24 Apr 2011
400 matches for a Lotina that was describing as ’the game for the ambition ‘, meanwhile ex-Depor Đukić was warning of the aerial game of the Galicians.

Miroslav Đukić is a former player of Deportivo that was part of the glorious days of the Super Depor era. Considered as a solid defender, the Serbian was always a reference at the team completing 212 liga appearances wearing the Blanquiazul shirt. Sadly he is most remembered for his missed penalty at the last minute of the last matchday on the liga season 1993/94 (0-0 Vs. Valencia); an error that cost the liga title and that’s worldwide known as “the penalty of Đukić”.

At least he was able to conquer the Copa and the Spanish Supercopa with Deportivo (1995), later he moved on to Valencia FC and finally clinched a liga title with Los Chés (2001/02). He ended his playing career with Tenerife FC during the season 2003/04. After retiring he became a TV commentator, though in 2006 he was named as the U-21 coach of Serbia.

Đukić was also the coach of the national team of Serbia (2007), and in 2009 he took command of Belgian club, Royal Excelsior Mouscron, club that disappeared at the end of that year after been declared bankrupt. His return lasted two years and it occurred in Spain as he replaced Esteban Vigo after the humiliating 0-4 defeat of Hércules CF at home against Osasuna (March 20). Three days later he was named the coach of the first team, the goal is to achieve the permanence.

This is just the third game of Đukić as a coach in the elite of Spanish football, so far he has achieved one win, one draw and has suffered one defeat. And the Serbian is facing an historic Miguel Ángel Lotina, who is completing in Alicante his match number 400 as a Primera coach, only 13 men have a better mark, the top three are Luis Aragonés (757), Javier Irureta (612) and Miguel Muñoz (601)

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Saturday’s morning; he was sending a message to his players asking to be an ambitious team, “The important thing are the three points, so this is the game for ambition. Tomorrow we must be ambitious; we all are conscious that if we achieve the victory in Alicante then we will certify the permanence; and as soon as possible, the better.”

The Basque man was also confirming that Depor is going to play with the classic 4-2-3-1 system, this after it was confirmed the injury of Antonio Tomás, “It is a pity the injury of Antonio, because he was going to play and I already had the team in my head, and now the plans are broken. All I can say is that we are going to play with a 4-2-3-1 figure, because we are having problems with the 4-3-3.”

About the rival, Depor’s trainer was saying that, “We know that we are facing a rival that’s having a lot of pressure. The only good result for them is a victory, so we must be smart and know the kind of rival that we are going to meet; a rival in a high emotional state, and then we must try to do our game. The true is that we are reacting after the loss against Levante. Maybe if we would have equalized that game we wouldn’t be reacting. In the end that defeat was good for us and now we can’t stop.”

Lotina also talked of the fact that he is completing his game number 400 at Primera; “Each day is more difficult, because there are more coaches. There was a time when the good players, the ones that performed in great clubs, the famous ones, when they were retiring they spent the time working in their business, but not anymore. Now everybody wants to be a coach or a sporting secretary, so it is more complicated and difficult. The true is that I was good when I was a player, the bad ones were the coaches, and they never understood me [he laughed]”

Later he had time to recall all the good things that he made in his career in la liga, “Let see, who has two promotions to Primera, a Copa Del Rey, a fourth place, a fifth spot, one seventh position, three participations  in the UEFA Cup with three different clubs?… only few people. My record is large and good, and not too many coaches in Spain can match this, maybe only the ones that have worked with the big clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona.”

“I am proud of my career, as nobody says it, then I say it. I have a lot of titles. What happens is that those titles are the Teresa Herrera, the Ciudad de Calahorra trophy, the Ciudad de Haro trophy… I even have more trophies than Guardiola! But Guardiola has the Champions League and la liga, and I two Ciudad de Vigo trophies, two Teresa Herrera tournaments. He (Guardiola) doesn’t have those trophies [he laughed]“ Depor’s coach added with irony.

Before the press conference, Lotina gave an interview to AS and was talking of the importance of the three points in this match, “Though the distance with relegation is the same we have less matches until reaching the end. So, if we win against Hércules, then the 90% of the permanence will be secured. I just will love to celebrate my 400 games at Primera securing the permanence with Depor.”

The coach of Hércules gave a press conference on Saturday; he is aware of the importance of the meeting against his former team, “This is a very important game for us; the salvation passes through winning this game no matter the goal comes at the first or at the last minute. The key is to see my team going out for everything since the first minute, our head must be thinking of the three points.”

“It won’t be easy, because Deportivo is a team that closes all the doors and that perfectly manages the counterattack. We must have the initiative in the game, not going crazy, but with a cool mind. We must have patience and not lose the balance, because Deportivo knows how to wait for the error of the rival. It might be a game with few goals, but we only need to win 1-0. We must be careful with their aerial game, just to remember that the goals against Racing came through headers” He added.

The Serbian coach was also asking for the support from the fans, “The team must go out for everything since the start, and its’ important that our public could support us; we want to see them realizing that the team is going out for the victory since the start; this is the way out and we must be convinced of our possibilities.”

Before the press conference, Đukić gave some interviews to several Galician newspapers; he was talking of his feelings for been facing his former club, “I have pretty good memories of La Coruña; it is my second home and was always well treated there. We achieved great stuff there, people started to notice us and it is a proud to be part of Depor’s history. We know it will be hard to save ourselves if we lose this game. Depor is living a more relaxed situation, they only need four more points and we need twelve.”

Later he was giving his opinion on Deportivo’s current situation, “They are a compact team, very well structured. With Valerón being a link between the lines, he is a smart player. Depor barely leaves empty spaces and it is an uncomfortable rival. But currently they are going back into normal mode, because what we did in the past… now we all are conscious that we were making history, but at this point they are only living the reality.”

Finally, Đukić was explaining his style as a coach, "I try to force my team to rely in itself; it must have its own personality and shouldn’t be conditioned by the rival. I want to see them knowing what to do, which is to be a strong and disciplined team. Everyone has to work for the group, but at the same time everyone should have freedom and creativity. I like to organize the things and have control over all the situations, but the players should also have the option to improvise within a general order.”



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