Competition news

VÍCTOR FERNÁNDEZ VS UNAI EMERY

05 Oct 2014
Depor’s coach was praising the level of the rival and continued assuring that his team needs to improve. The coach of Sevilla didn’t clarify the doubts on the possible lineup, but hinted that changes will be made.

Unai Emery Etxegoien is currently one of the more respected Spanish football coaches; after four years misunderstood at Valencia CF, and a failed period at FC Spartak Moscow, this Basque coach landed at Sevilla CF in January of 2013 and little by little earned the confidence of the fans.

The first six months were difficult as the team could only end ninth during the campaign 2012/13, but the following season was simply brilliant. The team had a slow start, but soon grew up and ended the tournament at the fifth spot, and more importantly it conquered the UEFA Europa League defeating SL Benfica in the final. For this reason he signed a two-year renewal.

However past ghosts seems to be chasing him as the last two results, a huge loss before Atlético Madrid and a draw in the Europa League, have provoked hard criticism in Seville. Emery has a special link with Deportivo as his father, Juan Emery, was the goalkeeper of the Galician team between the years 1959 & 1962.

An interesting stat is that Emery never lost a league match as a coach facing Deportivo, this after nine meetings against the Galicians (7 victories and 2 draws), however he lost in Copa Del Rey as his Valencia was defeated at Mestalla by Lotina’s Depor during the season 2009/10 (1-2).

This is the second official meeting between Emery and Víctor Fernández, the previous confrontation took place during the Primera season 2007/08 and it was won by Depor’s current coach, at the time he was coaching Real Zaragoza and his team defeated Emery’s Almeria 1-0. Víctor was the coach of Real Betis in the past and he never won an Andalusian derby, he just clinched three draws in four meetings.

VÍCTOR FERNÁNDEZ
Depor’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s morning; he talked to reporters for fifteen minutes. The first question was related to the presence of Lucas Pérez in the list of picked players, “The evolution was pretty good; he only completed a few trainings with the group, just four sessions; the response was good and he fulfilled the expectations, but it doesn’t mean that he’s ready for the full ninety minutes. He’s a player that has been cleared to play, but is far from his better shape. Still, I had to choose between him and another player under the same circumstances, Insua with only four trainings with the team.”

“The point is that I had seven or eight players for the defensive efforts and didn’t have anyone for the attack, therefore the decision was made according to a tactical criterion. He [Lucas] is a very happy lad, with a competitive character, a lad that transmits positivism, but the main reason is that he’s fine and available to play. He offered a good level during Thursday’s tactical training. Yes, the demand in a training session has nothing to do with the motivation and the anxiety of a match, but the first step is to be part of the roster. We’ll see what the match demands from us, for me, despite having the medical okay, he isn’t ready to compete at the highest level, but could have a participation in a short frame of the game.” He added

The Aragonian man said that the fans shouldn’t expect a revolution at the lineup, “We have a clear picture for the game. We won’t see weird things and we must win the game with these players. The tested teams in the trainings are always significant as you end making tests for Sunday’s games. You can also make modifications as you can have things that you didn’t like. It’s also true that we still have to complete a training session in Seville, which will be short as we play at noon, but we must be prudent.”

Víctor also explained the state of José Rodríguez, who had problems to complete Thursday’s training due to flu, “We will see if he can play and perform for ninety minutes. I don’t know. In today’s training we only worked the strategy and must be prudent and follow his evolution. The doctors tell me that we must remain optimistic, but we will see. He has been weak for the last two days.”

He wasn’t impressed by the 2-2 draw of Sevilla CF during the Europa League, but was it for the resources of the Andalusian team, “From yesterday’s game I stay with the fact they have a large squad, practically two men per position and also that a lot of changes will be made compared to the game against us. I’m convinced that at least five players will be changed, but well… the structure won’t change and neither their style to play. For me this is a big team with a big challenge, it’s called to compete for the fourth position in la liga, they are the current champion of the Europa League, a really powerful outfit and that, curiously, after two bad results is giving the impression of having doubts. It’s surprising to me, because they know how to clinch what they want. They signed what they wanted. It is clear to me that they are among the four giant clubs in the league and are highly competitive.”

The former coach of Betis said that the game isn’t a derby for him, “Independently that I spent three years at Seville, what I want is to win and leave a positive impression plus adding a result. Let’s see what happens. We are having problems in offense, with casualties, but are also hopeful, because in two weeks I believe everybody will be available, with the exception of Diogo [Salomão].”

Fernández was surprised as minutes before the press conference it was known that Pablo Insua has been picked by Spain U-21 squad, “For us the best would be to see him training with us, to see him having a bigger physical charge and to see him playing on Thursday, but it’s also a joy to him and a motivation. What would be important to us, now that he won’t train with the team, is to see him playing. To see him playing both games will be great to us. It will be pretty bad to see him not playing and not training with us, but each coach will do the best for his interest. We are a little surprised as he spent a full month without competing and only had three trainings on this week, but I was told they have huge defensive problems and needed players from other level. It’s great for the lad and is should be good to him in order to train and compete.”

He was also very emphatic asked about further conclusions after the latest defeat against UD Almeria, “The conclusion is that we committed suicide. With that phrase I can summarize my feelings and the ones of the group. We are the worst defense, but its deceiving if you consider the goals allowed against Madrid. We are lacking to end the games in a better shape; evidently our physical condition isn’t the best. In some situations things were worse due to our bad luck. It has been a long time since the last opportunity that three players asked me for the substitution within the last twenty minutes. It was also the third game in just seven days and we were coming after making a big effort against Celta.”

Despite complaining of the shape of his team, the coach denied that it has been a factor in the major part of the season, “Truly you need to improve the physical condition, because when you are tired the decisions that are made on the pitch turn to be worse and the responses are less frequent, and that was reflected fundamentally in two games: Real Madrid and Almeria. Because the day we allowed goals in the second half facing Granada, it turns out that we ended the game in a better shape than them. So, we cannot focus only in the physical aspect. It’s the same if we talk of the game with Celta. The day of Rayo Vallecano we also ended in a better shape and clinched the comeback.”

He also refused to repeat that bad luck is the only fact that has put Depor at the edge of the relegation zone, this after explaining the play that cost the defeat against Almeria, “It’s evident that we cannot remain with the final outcome, which was a shot that hit the boot of a Depor’s player and then entered by the top-corner. I cannot end with that outcome. I must assess first how that play was created, how we were positioned on the field, why we made that decision. There was a chain of errors in that play. We talked about it with the players and cannot summarize it only with that action that entered by the top-corner.”

Víctor Fernández also denied that his team is having doubts after losing the last three games, “The only clear thing to me is that we will face moments like this throughout the season. We cannot deviate from the goal of the permanence and to be better than other three teams. It’s a goal that I have been pointing, I will repeat it again when we win three straight games, and it’s hard and long. There’s no doubt on that. It won’t be easy and there will be bad moments. I would only be worried if we wouldn’t be able to match the rivals. My only deception is that against Almeria, by minute 60, we should have been winning 3-1 or 2-1 and ended conceding at the last minute. And it happened too against Celta. It’s my great pain.”

Finally, the ex-coach of Zaragoza commented the situation of his former club and the match-fixing scandal, “It isn’t pleasant, because it’s a situation taking place in the city where I was born and also at the club where I belonged for a long time. I don’t like it and let’s see if more cases end to be public.”

EMERY
Sevilla’s coach addressed the media on Saturday’s morning; he admitted the difficulties to prepare the game after playing on Thursday in the Europa League, "Both competitions require a lot from us in a physical sense, The work has to be very focused on preparing every game, but that's good and the squad is prepared in amplitude for any contingency in the form of injuries or fatigue. On Thursday, the match required from us to face it with one less man, and the next few hours, which are few, are to recover the major part of those who have played and for those who didn’t to give that continuity in the performance.”

He didn’t reveal any clue about a possible lineup, but hinted that changed will be made, “This afternoon we will evaluate everyone, but the ones that made a great effort in Croatia will not start, and the others will have to provide that high intensity and pace. There will be a few that will be present despite playing the full 90 minutes on Thursday, but it’s an opportunity for all ".

The Basque coach isn’t worried with the latest criticism, but warns that it could bring doubts, "The praises often led us to mistakes and criticism can make us doubt too. We only follow a very straight line and only think about tomorrow, we’re very focused on the three points and the difficulty of Deportivo and not beyond. Our goal for tomorrow is to reach the16 points and add followers to Sevilla, playing with a high level of intensity and to see people proud, playing to win. Such is our preparation for the match. If any doubt has been created then our obligation is to reverse that. We accept those who are more convinced of what we do and also those who may think otherwise at any given time. Our race is daily and weekly, and we should create a state of confidence and play for that and then move forward. "

"Last year we played in Europe with humility, without being the favourite, and the hope was growing with every game and with the increased credibility acquired with time. This year we set up the same and are fulfilling the steps for it. La Liga had the opposite start on last year and generated doubts, but with them we increased the work. That will not change now. This exciting path will not change for a particular match. We have to understand this movement’s around, either positive or negative, and handle it. But none of that worries me, because it only concerns me how we are tomorrow.” He added.

There are many doubts with the possible presence of Deulofeu at the starting lineup, but Emery didn’t clarify the situation, “I’ve the same consideration for Deulofeu, Vitolo or Krychowiak. There are some who raise more expectation due to the circumstances, but for me they are all the same. We adjust to the needs of each game and tomorrow is a determined meeting, there will be players with more options than others, because we need to display a lot of game. For me Deulofeu is x and we have 25x at the squad.”

What’s clear is that Cristóforo and Gameiro won’t be part of the match; as the coach said, "It's very satisfying when the players who have been out for so long join the group. But we should be very carefully and assess when they will be back, but it's always good to expand the range of available players."

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/14

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