Interviews

Q&A WITH OLTRA

14 Jun 2012
Josť Luis Oltra gave an interview to journalist Juan Cudeiro from newspaper El PaŪs; the Valencian coach talked of his feelings after the season ended and after clinching the promotion to Primera Divisiůn.

Q: How do you feel
A: Iím content, because thereís no money that can afford to make happy so many people and at the same time I enjoy it. Besides, the daily life at the team was perfect, but we have paid the price for feeling the pressure as we were forced to achieve the promotion, yes or yes.

Q: Was it exhausting?
A: Of course, but we tried not to notice it. The team has competed and from the street I just received encouragement and gratitude, but it wasnít a year to enjoy with the media. I was surprised to see them not getting into the car of victory and instead they continued tightening. It wasnít understood what the team has done and there was too much pressure over the players.

Q: Did it affect the team?
A: I was saturated and it forced me to go through an ordeal. In the decisive stretch what I read was that the rivals were shortening the distance and that in the previous year I donít know how many teams had lost a promotion, also that the team was tired... So I said I had suffered the promotion, but also enjoyed it because it was necessary for the club and the city, for the players that stayed. And for me it was a challenge and an opportunity.

Q: So, the media just created more pressure.
A: From the club they always transmitted me calm, though we knew we had to clinch the promotion.

Q: There was a statement, endorsed by you, before the last derby...
A: I know where it goes. I misspoke, I admit it. It was an interview at nine in the morning when I was asked what was more important to the club, if to clinch the promotion or win the league. I said that the promotion and I added a quote: "If we donít achieve the promotion, maybe the club is not viable." But I didnít have that information. I meant that the club probably wasnít going to make another project as competitive as this one at Segunda. And then it was on the headlines.

Q: It wasnít the only phrase. "We are the Barca or Madrid of Segunda" chased you half a season.
A: Iíve been criticized for my words more than by the facts. I assure you that next year I wonít be the same. I will go to the press conferences quiet and not willing to give headlines. It was even said that I was inviting people to go to the movies and not to football if they really wanted to have fun. And it was a manner of speaking. We were winning and people were talking of suffering and not of the fact that the team was playing well. It isnít my fault for what we lived in past years. We have paid the price for the penalty of Djukic, the relegationÖ
 
Q: It happened many times at the Riazor that the team claimed the lead in the scoresheet and later was pressed by the rival. Donít you think there was a reason to investigate why this was happening?
A: It was a coincidence, trust me.

Q: Do you use the press conferences to send messages to the changing room?
A: Always. I prepared them all. I talk to the press officer of my agent to orientate the messages to the media, but also for the players. I also consult the psychologist, Macario Bravo, who is a key person in this promotion. They suggest me what we can stand out, but then I have my character and not always keep the schedule. This year I havenít left the impression that I would have liked.

Q: What has been the hallmark of the team?
A: Responsibility. We have been faithful to an idea and even in the most delicate moments we have had the confidence in our style of playing, of been protagonists, offensive and courageous. So I am surprised that, with all that has been seen on here within the last six or seven years, the message hasnít been understood. A man gave me the other day thanks not for clinching the promotion, but for bringing back football. The team has played and combined. Weíve seen a lot of passes!

Q: Would you have polished more the defensive aspect?
R. I would have insisted in putting more pressure up front, but by the characteristics of the players it wasnít possible, I had to put them together. We neither defended at the edge of the area as Depor did at other times. We went out and pushed the rival, though not as much as I wanted.

Q: And donít you think that the team was too much uncovered?
A: Only when we were losing. I went out for the game and sometimes it was a gamble, but at Primera I know they can kill me on the counterattack.

Q: What can be improved on this year?
A: We conceded goals for assuming risks and it could be a problem to do it now. I could play with five men at the back as it happened before at Primera, but I prefer to try to win 4-3 rather to have a goalless draw. There were problems of collective performance, because there were players who werenít used to put pressure up front and at the proper time. For that reason there were some imbalances and it cost us a lot of goals. It was a matter of time, people assumed their role.

Q: The changes came as a result of suspensions and not for tactical choices. You said after beating Celta in November that if Jesus VŠzquez would have been available then Juan Dominguez wouldnít have entered.
A: Right. The problem is that Iím very sincere. We were thinking of making that change, because we realized that Alex and Jesus were very similar and in that area we were missing more football. Our thought coincided with the circumstances. And the same goes in the case of Ze Castro and Aythami. But if the changes had been the opposite then it would have worked out too. It isnít so easy.

Q: How did you face the bad moments?
A: With tranquility at the moment of meeting the outside world; and trying to convey security meeting the inside. The changing room id wonderful, with veterans who have hierarchy and wishing to help, there are no closed groups.

Q: Was it a different Segunda tournament compared to other years?
A: No. More equal in the long term... It was harder to win. Itís true that the teams are playing better than before, but because the models to win are copied by all. The change is that with 85 points youíre always champion and this year it wasnít enough to clinch the direct promotion

Q: Do you think Lendoiro is concern and that he could make a competitive team?
A: Sure. The situation is what it is, but there is a base to avoid problems. For any coach thereís no better president, because it gives security, confidence and isnít questioning in public, or privately, anything I do. For me Lendoiro is a blessing.

Q: Does it bother you that an agent as Jorge Mendes may have too much influence in making the next team?
A: I'm outside of it. I will have an opinion on the decisions related to the team, but above all I am here to manage resources.

Q: Is a long-term goal for you to train Valencia?
A: My dream as a child was to play for Valencia. I did it at the youth teams, but as you grow up you move away from the feeling. I would sign to spend my whole career at Primera with Deportivo.

ARCHIVE NEWS JUN/11

ZAPPING


Back to Interviews