Competition news


11 May 2014
Depor’s coach was once again defending his decisions of the past game against CD Lugo and warned that his team must avoid the relaxation. The coach of Alavés was comparing Deportivo to a concrete wall.

Alberto López Fernández is a 44-year-old man that’s just starting to work as a coach after a long career as a goalkeeper. He completed 353 appearances at Primera División, the major part of them with Real Sociedad. He was even the Zamora at Segunda in 2007 playing for Real Valladolid.

He retired in 2009 and became a football coach, at the beginning of the present season he landed at Deportivo Alavés as the second coach for the first team. It has been a chaotic season for the Basque club as they are in relegation and already had three coaches in one campaign. Natxo González was the head manager at the beginning; then he was replaced in December by Galician Juan Carlos Mandiá, who was later fired in March.

The club’s officials decided that López should claim the job until the end of the season, so this is his first experience at the command of a senior team and has the big challenge of trying to reach the permanence. So far he has coached the team within the last six games and the results have been balanced: 2 wins, 2 draws & 2 defeats. This is his first meeting against Fernando Vázquez, who’s dragging an experience of 108 games as a Segunda coach.

Depor’s coach advanced his press conference to Friday and turned to be the longest one on the season as it lasted 22 minutes. He started talking of Juan Carlos and his ankle injury, “I believe he’s an important doubt, but 24 hours are left and we’ll wait for tomorrow’s training. Yes he was a possible starter, but I’ve other solutions as everybody is available, but it’s true that this option remained open as he was used in previous games. It was a weird day in the training as we had some incidents with the injuries [Luis also sustained a knock].”

The Galician tactician admitted the tension inside the first team as Depor haven’t clinched yet the promotion, “Everyone would love to have already secured the promotion to Primera División, because this league is long and we’ve spent the last three games thinking of a lot of things. It’s negative and only creates tension. The only reality is that we need the promotion and isn’t done yet as we still have to win some games. We cannot wait for the failures of others, because what we need to do is to win games and that’s it. We can only think of winning in Vitoria, in winning on here against Eibar and then win more games.”

“The team is fine, the other day we lived some fatidic minutes in Lugo, but I believe the team showed a good level and it’s the path to follow. We’re watching weird things at Primera too, the other day Liverpool was winning 0-3 and ended conceding a 3-3, so you need to be careful with these situations. Until getting the fish you cannot make the party. Sometimes we are anticipating some things that aren’t a reality, at least mathematically. The team was warned that these things can happen and it isn’t the first time we reach a peak of tension, it probably happened to Real Madrid too as they lived a peak at the moment of reaching the final of the Champions League and later they seem to have relaxed. It isn’t normal to see my team allowing five goal in three games just when before we seemed to be an invulnerable team.” He added regarding the issue.

Despite his words, he wanted to clarify that Depor aren’t relaxed, “I am not saying that we are relaxed. It occurs unconsciously; it isn’t easy to determine the real level of a player. There are no test to measure it, but it’s a possibility that some might think that it’s done and this ‘it’s done’ is like closing the trap before getting the animal. The solution is a football and mental issue.”

Vázquez was also praising the rival, “I believe Alavés aren’t occupying the spot that corresponds to the level of their players, but the regularity ends putting you at your place. It’s hard to go out of the last places, but this is a very dangerous team in set-pieces. They are tall and it worries me, because they are very good in the aerial game.”

He rested importance to the direct meeting between UD Las Palmas and CD Tenerife, “We shouldn’t be thinking of others; I always say that if we don’t win then it’s useless. We depend on ourselves. If we win then the others can do whatever they want. The idea that we can do things thanks to the failures of others isn’t helping. I am demanding to my team to make a great game in Vitoria and win; we cannot wait for favours. I am not making calculations on the result of the game between Las Palmas and Tenerife. I’m just worried in making a team in order to win our game.”

The Castrofeito-born coach explained why Depor need to clinch a victory in this game, “We are living a moment in which we need to win in order to earn confidence; no one earns confidence drawing or losing. The defeats are hard, the last result was a draw that tastes like a defeat as things were at the scoresheet, therefore the defeat against Ponferradina rested confidence to the team and we need to earn it back in order to feel important again.”

Later he admitted the possibility to play with two strikers, “It’s an option that’s totally open. I’ve played with two strikers in many games. I played 4-4-2 in a lot of opportunities. For example I played like that in Hércules and at home against Numancia, no wait it wasn’t against Numancia… Well, theoretically I have five strikers at the squad, Arizmendi was used as winger at the beginning of the season, but also played as a striker in two or three games. I’ve alternatives. Diego Ifrán was coming from a situation in which he wasn’t competing, he started to train with us and is performing in an acceptable level.”

Asked about the arrival of a second coach for next season, the answer was, “It isn’t the moment to talk of the issue, but since the situation came out in the media. I talked to the president and I gave some names, then he agreed with me and now we’re expecting to see things following the right path. But we are at Segunda División and not at Primera, so everything will be cleared as soon as we land at Primera División.”

Then he spent some minutes talking of the previous game against CD Lugo, throughout the week Depor’s coach was criticized for his late changes in the second half, about the issue he commented that, “You cannot test things before a game, because you will need to replay the game and make the opposite things… clearly the only coach that makes mistakes is the one that changes the things, evidently if we wouldn’t have ended with the draw then I wouldn’t have been criticized. If I’m criticized I must admit the comments, because evidently I made a decision on my team and it isn’t the first time this happens. A modification, a switch in the system and a later change in the result is something that already happened to me, so I must assume the responsibility. We were 1-2 at minute 66 and I waited five minutes to see where the team was going, I didn’t like the situation as I saw the team was losing control and tried to fix it, so I made a decision and you can agree or not, but it was the decision of the coach. “

“You can applaud it or criticize it, but I would do the same thing again. You move the team according to what you expect to do. I was planning to replace Sissoko with Borja. We were a team having stability and tried to do the same things in Lugo, but the team wasn’t able to show the same strength. Something we always did well it was now made in the wrong way in Lugo. It has also to do with how we play now, we are more aggressive, trying to have the ball possession and sometimes we end in a grey zone. It wasn’t the line of five defenders the factor that failed, but the whole team.” He added.

Fernando Vázquez also sent a message to Quique Setién, the coach of Lugo has said several things of Depor throughout the season.  After the game he was mocking that Deportivo made things easier for him during the second half, so the reply of Depor’s coach was, “It’s very on the line of Setién. You should ask him to explain why we scored twice against Lugo in 60 minutes. It’s his responsibility, but well…”

Finally, Depor’s trainer was warning that Depor must be alert in this final stage of the season, “Any good situation can turn into a bad thing; if you don’t finalize the situation and if the distance is shortened, then you can be nervous. It’s pretty to have an advantage, but sometimes it can turn against you if you are conservative, it’s a scene in which you want to keep the result instead of trying to extend it, you are no longer aggressive and allow the rest to reduce the distance. It’s a normal situation in sports. The reality is that you need to win games, but who will give for free the games? Eibar is coming here and is a complicate rival, we must travel to Numancia; we need to win those games.” He added.

Alavés’ coach addressed the media on Saturday’s noon. He wants to keep the tension inside the group and picked all the available players for the game. Then, there will be a final list of 18 men that will be released one hour before the kick-off.

He’s expecting that his team can match the expectations before the leader of the league, “It’s a match before a strong rival that demands a high concentration from our team. I believe we can match the expectations and, since that point, the rival is also playing and let’s see what happens.”

The Basque coach was emphasizing the strong defense of Deportivo, “It’s a highly respected team, because they are the leaders and because they earned it throughout the season. They are like a concrete wall, because they face everything with a defensive order and it’s one of the references in the league. They haven’t won within the last two weeks, but I’m sure the game will be complicated. They are physical strong and will demand a lot from us. We must fulfill the expectations.”



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