Competition news


26 Aug 2012
Depor’s coach searches for his first victory against Valencia and wants to do it with a Deportivo playing attractive football; meanwhile Valencia’s trainer denies to talk of the future and prefers to face the season going game by game.

Mauricio Andrés Pellegrino is an Argentine trainer that’s just completing his second official game as the head coach of a football team. He was a prolific central defender that had a career lasting sixteen years; he just made 23 liga appearances with Barcelona FC, but shined at Valencia completing 140 liga matches, many of them playing alongside Marchena, who is now at Deportivo.

After retiring in 2006 playing for Alavés, Pellegrino became the coach of the Cadete B team of Valencia CF. Two years later he went to Liverpool FC, club where he played before in 2005, this time he was the assistant of Rafael Benítez; he stayed there until the summer of 2010, on that year he joined Benitez on his way to F.C. Inter. After leaving Italy at the end of 2010 he spent one and a half year without working and, on 7 May 2012, he was appointed as the new coach of Valencia, signing for two years as a replacement for Unai Emery.

His debuting game was pretty impressive as Valencia drew 1-1 against Real Madrid playing at the Santiago Bernabeú, of course this is his first official meeting against José Luis Oltra, the current Depor’s coach has visited the Mestalla in two opportunities and he never managed to get a positive result there; first he lost 0-1 with CD Tenerife (2009/10) and later suffered a 1-2 loss with UD Almeria (2010/11). Actually, Oltra has faced Valencia in four opportunities and it never managed to clinch a win (the other two were draws).

Depor’s trainer addressed the media on Friday’s morning; it was a long conversation with reporters that lasted twenty-seven minutes. The Valencian man began talking of the meaning of been playing against the biggest club from his homeland, “Let’s see… it’s different, the previous moments and the post game, why? Because you have more visits and those people are your closest friends and the family, and you know that at the end of the game they are happy or sad for you. But during the game there’s nothing. I believe football has no feelings.”

Regarding the level of the rival, he said that, “The idea is to add the three points. The challenge is to compete and be ourselves. We most show our best version, knowing that we are visiting a complicate field facing an important rival. It´s encouraging to visit a field like Mestalla, with great fans supporting their team. It’s a rival that has been the third place in three straight years, aka the first place of the other league. They have great players. It’s a team that reinvents itself each year and this season they have made an important investment though they also lost important men. Yesterday I was reading that they are paying 7 kilos for Cissokho, and it’s a team that’s fine. It changed the coach, but it’s an important team. They signed a lot of people like Andrés [Guardado] but it’s the same base.”

Asked about the attitude that Depor will have at Mestalla, the Catarroja-born coach responded that, “What I want is a team that can adapt to the circumstances, since the beginning I would love to see the same attitude of the past week, though I don’t know if we’ll be able to do it or if the rival will allow us to be like that. Are we going to play on counterattacks? Well, maybe the game is made to be playing or counterattacks, maybe is to have the ball possession, or maybe is to play through direct game. You must know how to adapt to whatever role the rival allows you to play. I would love to keep the same style, but you need to adapt to the circumstances.”

“We must be brave, always knowing that it’s going to be difficult. We need to score once in order to achieve a draw or two times if we want to win. That’s my perception and I can’t tell my players that they have to defend. Another thing is that a good game is based in a solid defense, but we are aware of the punch of Valencia. What I want is a brave and daring team, always starting from a solid defense and knowing that the main thing is the sacrifice and the hard work.” He added.

Once again Oltra didn’t give any hint of the ´possible lineup for the match, “I always put the best eleven players that I´ve. I always try to choose the best players. I’ll search each week for the best, another thing is that it could be the same team of the past week. But in any case my intention is to put the best players that are available.”

About the fact of been facing Guardado, Oltra commented that, “I am glad to see Andrés again, later I can only speak greatly of him for the things he brought last season, his commitment with the team as he knew that he wasn’t staying. He was one of the players that marked a difference. I wish him the best starting on Sunday. I wish him the best, because he deserves it.”

There’s a sense of euphoria in A Coruña after the first victory in the league, but Depor’s trainer asks for patience, “I don’t want to extract conclusions at this point; we should wait until matchday 25 before making an analysis, but we can’t be talking of this just for making one lonely good game. Three weeks ago, when we lost at Sevilla or in Portugal, the comments were different, so I am not stormed by the comments. I just know there’s potential in this team and each week we need to compete.”

Then Oltra gave his opinion on the kick-off time of the game and the long trip to Valencia planned by the club [ten hours by bus and two by train] “The hour is the same for both teams; you may like it or not, but the only thing to do is to adapt and face it, there’s nothing else to do. It isn’t the best hour for the fan, because many people work on the next day, besides it isn’t the best hour for the kids. But I don’t complain; we just adapt. About the trip, sincerely, it’s the best trip that Depor was able to book. It isn’t an excuse, so if we made a bad game I can guarantee you that it won’t be an excuse. If we play badly it won’t be for the trip. The club did what it could, because this was a complicated week.”

Deportivo’s tactician was asked if Ze Castro was going to be part of the list of picked players, this since Roderick was dragging some problems, and he confirmed the casualties for the game, “This week he [Ze Castro] won’t be part of the team; yesterday he didn’t complete part of the training, so he doesn’t have the medical okay and we need to be cautious. In any case he’s evolving and should join the team on next week. So, the only players ruled out of the game are Ze Castro, Salomão and Laure, the rest will be a tactical decision. We’ll see the evolution of Roderick, but I hope he will be fit to play. If he enters into the list it is because he can play [he was picked in the end]. Salomão and Laure are following the deadlines of the doctors.”

Asked if Valerón is going to change his role at the team during the away meetings, the response was that, “I thought of that last year; if I remember correctly he wasn’t a starter in visits like the one made to Cartagena or Huesca, but it also depends on the readings of the matches. He could be sit on the bench, but he always play well. It happen the same with all the players.”

About the issue of who should be the starting striker, he said that, “There are games for everyone, this is too long and people have even told me that what we need to do is to play with two attackers. But I would need to take off somebody. I just can tell you that both attackers have a great level and both of them were fine the other day. You will watch it on Sunday.”

Finally, Oltra talked of the transfer window and denied that his preferred choice to be the last signing is Chilean Carlos Muñoz, “Today is August 24 and there’s less time before the closure of the market. I just can tell you that the market is open; I don’t know what could happen as many changes can occur until the last day, this regarding exits and arrivals. What I can tell you is that the team is no longer under construction; it’s almost done, though we are open to more arrivals and exits.”

“Stuani is an option, like many others, but I won’t talk of it, because last week I talked of a name [Carlos Muñoz] and on the next day it was in all the covers of the papers, but I never talk of players that aren’t here. People were saying that he was my preferred choice, but it wasn’t true. Yes, the arrival of one more striker will be good, but I am tranquil as we have good attackers; we have three and then we have Fabril. If the new striker doesn’t arrive then it isn’t something crucial; it’s just that there are a lot of factors: injuries, the mood of the players, form… so as long as you have the largest numbers of players, the best, but from that point it isn’t crucial. Nothing happens if the new striker doesn’t arrive.” He finalized.

Valencia’s coach gave his press conference on Saturday’s morning; he didn’t want to comment on the targets of Valencia for the new season; instead he was focusing in facing the situation game by game, “We must win tomorrow, but should only think in going game by game; and then try to finish as high as possible at the standings. Our objectives remain the same from day one.”

The Argentine man was predicting an entertaining clash against Deportivo, “We always want to win; we have a competitive team capable of winning any match. We are playing against a solid team, a team that practices good football, so I think it will be an interesting game. At the end of the day the men are prepared to play and it’s eleven men against eleven men.”

He also referred to the situation of Guardado facing his former team, “Andres is a guy who works very well; he’ll be pretty motivated to play against his former team. Sometimes, when a player is at one particular club for a long time, they feel gratitude towards them, Andres definitely has that relationship with Deportivo, but I don’t think he’ll hold back in his commitment to us now, on the contrary, I see someone that’s very motivated.”

The former central defender was also asked of the players that will miss the game either for injury reasons or for been at the door out [the club will release a final list until Sunday] and he just commented that, “I have replacements for all the positions and we’re going to enjoy of a very promising season; we just hope the fans will enjoy too. We are hoping that people will attend to the stadium in order to support us as they will see an entertaining match.”



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