Squad news


07 Dec 2013
Two Galician coaches are colliding for the first time in 18 months; Depor’s manager hasn’t decided yet the lineup for the game, while Alavés’ manager is calling his players to assume more risks in the quest for the goals.

Juan Carlos Mandiá Lorenzo is a young Galician coach that’s one of the few men that had played and also coached at Primera División, though without too much success. He debuted at the elite when he was only 17, it was with Real Madrid during the curious kick-off of the season 1984/85, it was curious because there was a strike and the B players were the ones playing the games; he later performed for RC Celta and completed 92 appearances with the club from Vigo. He retired in 2000 at Córdoba CF and two years later he began his career as a coach at CD Logroñes, just as former Depor’s coach Lotina did.

He later spent three stages at Hércules CF; he coached the Valencian team between the years 2004 and 2006, for the season 2008/2009 and then for the campaign 2011/2012. In the middle he debuted as a coach at Primera with Racing Santander, but he only lasted three months on the job.

Mandiá spent one year without coaching after missing the promotion with Hércules CF, and on last Wednesday he was named as the head coach of Deportivo Alavés after Natxo González was fired due to the poor results. This is his debut with the team. The Lugo-born man, who’s 46, has a big experience in the league, even bigger than Fernando Vázquez, because Mandiá already completed 133 games at Segunda, while El Profesor –who’s 60- has only completed 87 matches at Liga Adelante.

A curious stat is that this is the first meeting in 18 months between two Galician coaches playing for Primera or Segunda División. The last time two coaches from this region faced each other was as Mandiá himself faced Vilagarcía de Arousa-born Luis César Sampedro (Alcoyano 0 – Hércules 5; May 23, 2012)

Depor’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s noon; it was a very short press conference (6 minutes) as it was a free day in A Coruña and as there were only a few reporters at the press room. He started talking if the unusual situation as Lugo and Recreativo already played, “It is a very different matchday as we play knowing many of the results. The results are favorable to us, at least at the beginning; this in order to escape from the direct rivals, but it depends on what we do at home during the weekend. We are capable to win, though we need to improve. The point is that we are in a position in which we can gain an advantage, and for this reason the match is important. We must gain these points because later we can need them.”

He doesn’t think that Alavés is going to be an unpredictable rival just for have changed the coach in midweek, “It’s unpredictable until certain point, because no matter what he trained there’s a certain idea of what can happen. He already faced Depor with Hércules at Segunda isn’t? and from that point you can already know what to expect. I read that he said that they are coming for us, but don’t know what could happen. He’s a methodic coach that likes the organization, so I guess it’s going to be complicated.”

The Galician tactician was asked if Rudy was going to start replacing Arizmendi and ended explained that he hasn't decided yet whether to play 4-1-4-1 or 4-4-2, “I have to think about it. But it’s clear that if we are going to play 4-1-4-1 then Rudy should be the one claiming that position, but there’s also the chance for a switch in the system, and yes it could be with two strikers, and if I play with a 4-4-2 then normal thing is that Juan Carlos will play at the right wing.”

“It’s a team you already know as we already use it. I already trained and used it during some games. Let’s see what can happen. I still watching the games of the rival and could end making a late decision. The switch in the system will be used in the quest to have more goal attempts; the goal is to revitalize the team and increase the performance of the offense. In resume it is to improve. It would be Culio on the left, Juan Carlos on the right and then Álex and Juan Dominguez at midfield.” He added.

Finally, Vázquez told to the media that he wants a victory at the Riazor in order to please the fans, “Little by little we are more reliable, but the victory at home is very important as it encourages the people. The fans like to see their team winning. I already said it: I would prefer to have the same points, but with more wins at home, because people would be happier. It is frustrating to lose or draw at home when you are playing at Segunda. It’s impressive to have a full stadium at Segunda División.”

Alavés’ new coach didn’t offer a press conference previously to the trip to A Coruña; instead he only addressed the media during his presentation on Wednesday. He was encouraging his players to give everything during the games, even asking for a ´suicidal’ approach, "We have to be kamikazes, convey that we are going out for the games and that we are brave. I don’t want half measures. Whoever defeats us it should be because it was better, but not because it was more courageous or determined than us. We have to be brave and determined with what we do. We must give everything."

"In a few days we cannot allow the players go crazy tactically. We can only ask them to be strong and courageous. We have to win, not matter it’s 5-4 or 6-5. If you keep a clean sheet you have a point, but at this moment it isn’t enough for us. I cannot say that a point is a point because the average won’t allow us to reach the mark of 50 points, but clearly being strong at defense will allow us to win. We must defend with everything, but also when we attack we must give everything. If we score three goals then it’s much better than if we score twice." He added.

Later the Galician coach measured his comments affirming that to defend is also important, “The offense is an important aspect, but not key to win. If the strikers are fantastic then they score a lot, but it isn’t helpful… maybe next year they could signing bigger contracts, but right now it isn’t worthy for the team. We need everybody given their best to score goals, but also to not allow goals.”

He was praising the fans and targeting the mark of 50 points for the salvation, “Only a few clubs can presume of having fans like the ones of Alavés; they encourage us a lot and it’s spectacular; this is important. If the public is pushing us like this then we must give our best. We must reach the mark of 50 points as soon as possible, but at the same time people must feel proud of our playing style.”

Finally, Mandiá said that his players need to beat the anxiety for been living at the relegation zone, “If you speculate a lot and think too much of the situation then you won’t think of playing. I was hired in order to extract the best from the players I have and these players are the ones that must win the games.”



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