Squad news


23 May 2011
Sorrow and disbelief; the players couldn’t believe what was happening, while Lotina barely spoke to reporters. Lendoiro faced the media, while messages of support were coming from other clubs.

High drama at the Riazor, after the final whistle some players immediately left the pitch, while others decided to stay over the grass, the major part of them were crying, later the captains forced the whole team to return in order to thank the public that stayed at the stadium. Some players didn’t want to talk to reporters, like the case of Albert Lopo, who left knowing that he won’t play at Deportivo on next season.

Coach Miguel Ángel Lotina was also feeling affected; he just talked for a few minutes at the press conference, which was later criticized by some reporters as they think that he didn’t want to accept his responsibility. About the game, he said that, “We had the chance to score many goals, to win with comfort, but the ball didn’t want to enter and never had luck. It was a game in which we missed some luck; the logical thing would have been to score two or three goals.”

Later he was analyzing the whole season of Deportivo, “It has been a tough season; neither the players nor the fans deserved the relegation and everything was against us. We saw weird results within the last matchdays, and I mark the game in Gijón… that match was key… all of this is forcing us to go to Segunda with 43 points, totally underserved.”

Finally, Lotina was assuming his role on this disaster, “I assume my responsibility, which is too big. Now you have a board of directors and a changing room that need your full support in order to return to Primera as soon as possible. The more you blame the coach, the better, so you can start next year strongly. The bad luck, the circumstances… I blame the game in Gijón. We are going back to Segunda, but this club must return to Primera.”

One of the few players that was always there to attend reporters was Juan Carlos Valerón, “We are speechless, it wasn’t possible. We tried of everything, what else can we do? We created many scoring opportunities, but the ball never entered. To the fans we can also invite them to come next year in order to celebrate the promotion.” He said.

El Flaco continued feeling sorry for what happened on the pitch, “People realized of what has occurred. We can’t do more of what we did tonight, but when things don’t work out… we can’t do more. You can’t do anything against bad luck and precipitation. We are very sorry. Next year we are going to repair what we have done.”

Other of the veterans that was facing reporters was Manuel Pablo, he said that, “We gave everything; we played football and had scoring opportunities… but we allowed a goal at the beginning and later we missed too many opportunities. We are going down for our own errors and for the mismatches saw since the start. Within the last matchdays it was demonstrated that this team has more things. Now we must pull forward.”

“We must analyze the reasons why we reached this situation taking in mind the team that we have. There were many scoring opportunities, more than against Athletic; we demonstrated what we are, but it was too late. It has been a season with ups and downs but the team showed up that it has more football. The reaction came until the end.” He added.

One of the surprising comments was made by Michel; he confessed that he asked for the support of his friends at Valencia, “I talked to them and asked for help. They were playing at half speed, it looked like they were trying to help, but we weren’t able to score. We had the opportunities, but missed some luck; I don’t know if it was it for the tension and the feelings, but the true is that we were unable to shot on target.”

Laure was another of the players that stayed at the pitch after the final whistle; he was crying and told to reporters that, “In a day like this we don’t deserve these fans. The ones of us that will stay will give everything for this club.”

Aythami Artiles was feeling devastated, “It was our fault; we, alone, reached this point. I can only ask for apologies to our fans, and next year we must go up in any possible way. The fans have the right to hammer us. Valencia played at half speed and could have scored four times. Next year I will be here, we must achieve the promotion.”

Striker Xisco, who is returning to Newcastle United, was trying to be optimistic ahead of the future, “We are all affected, because nobody wanted this. We all knew that only a goal was enough, but it wasn’t possible. Now we must raise the head. Deportivo must return as soon as possible; people are convinced that it can be done, though right now we are in sorrow.”

Meanwhile, Riki was another of the players that was promising to stay, “Some will surely leave, while other, like me, will stay; I am prepared to play at Segunda in order to put Depor back at Primera División. It is what we all deserve.”

Daniel Aranzubia was saying that the team is not going down for the polemic game in Gijón, “You go down to Segunda for the things done throughout the 38 matches, not for the decision of a referee. We were wrong in many things, because you never go down for one or two errors.”

Saul Fernandez was one of the players that didn’t talk to reporters, but on Sunday he posted in his Twitter account that, “I can only thank the fans. It’s time to be together and rise up… next season we will be returning to Primera!!! You all know that Segunda isn’t a bed of roses; if you assume it, then you will be winning the first battle. Vamos Depor!”

President Augusto César Lendoiro was there to face reporters and promised to work in order to return to Primera as soon as possible, “We had many scoring opportunities. We have to understand that this is football and sometimes the ball doesn’t want to go in, we can only congratulate the winners. Today there were many. Since tomorrow we will start to work in the new project, which is new life. We must return to the elite as soon as possible, because it is the place where we belong. This is just a step backwards.”

“This is the saddest night in the life of many people that was here or that was watching at their homes, but I am sure that we are going to surpass this, because we have surpassed worse things. What’s clear is that we have demonstrated again how to face a tough moment in sports, just like we did in 1994. That day the club lost a liga and everybody supported Djukic.” He added.

Valencia’s coach, Unai Emery, was saying that, “We wanted to be respectful with everybody; it is a sad day for Depor, and we were their judges, but it was a season with 38 matches and wanted to be honest with everybody. Depor had its occasions, but it missed and we had our own chances. We wanted to win, but are also human and for that reason we played at half speed at the end. I am feeling sad, because my father played at Deportivo, but I just defended my job.”

Roberto Soldado, who scored the second goal, was saying that, “It was a complicate game at the Riazor, but we defended our shield; it is our obligation. We just hope to see Depor back soon. I am impressed with the fans of Deportivo; they always supported the team, even when they were already at Segunda. Soon they will return.”

Messages of support were coming from other clubs, especially from former players of Deportivo; Joan Capdevila wrote on his Twitter account that, “From the team of Villarreal we are sending our message of support to all Deportivismo, I am personally sad and gutted for the relegation. Forza Depor!!” Meanwhile, Filipe Luis was just writing, “I am speechless = forza Depor :((((((“

Finally, Villarreal’s midfielder Borja Valero was also giving his opinion on the issue, “Congratulations to all the teams that achieved the salvation, especially Mallorca [his former club] and let’s hope than an historic club like Depor could be back next year.”

Despite the major part of the fans at the Riazor were standing with honour after the final whistle, there were a few incidents, like a bottle that hit journalist Marco Antonio Sande, or the fans that chased Guardado when he was leaving in his car. The Mexican didn’t suffer any harm, but was questioned by the fans of its lack of compromise.





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