Squad news


06 Feb 2016
Depor’s coach has confidence in his team despite the winless streak, while Sporting manager warns that it will be tougher to beat Depor compared to the last victory against Valencia CF.

Abelardo Fernández Antuña is a former defender of FC Barcelona with a long and successful career as a football player. He won the three titles in Spain with the Catalans and played two FIFA World Cups and two Euro tournaments winning a gold medal during the 1992 Summer Olympics games in Barcelona.

He became a coach in 2008 and had two stages with the B squad of Sporting Gijón, in 2014 he replaced sacked José Ramón Sandoval at the first squad and was responsible for last year’s promotion to Primera División, thanks to this achievement he signed a three-year renewal in June. This is his second meeting as a coach with Víctor Sánchez after the 2-3 win in the first round.

Very short press conference by Depor’s coach after the training season held at Abegondo. He only talked for six minutes with reporters. He started saying that he’s fully confident with his team after the winless period in 2016, “We remain with the same motivation and facing each game with the highest hope. We are calm, because as long as the team leaves a great impression and having a protagonic role in the games, been able to create a lot of occasions, I’m sure the victory will arrive soon and we are hopeful it will take place this Saturday,”

The Madrilenian man denied the idea that Depor are showing a different face on the road, this after been asked about the previous visits to Real Madrid and Real Sociedad, “In both away games the results had nothing to do with the performance. We highly valorized the impression left by the team at the Bernabéu, always competing, but the punch of Real Madrid caused the heavy loss. We obtained a lot of positive news from that game. The match with Real Sociedad was the opposite. We knew they are very physical and knew how to compete. We had a high level in defence and allowed us to get a point. It wasn’t our best game in offense, but had chances to go ahead 2-0 and in the end the equalizer came due to a decision of the referee that, for us, it was unfair. So the team competes and we are very happy with the impression left, because it is regular and positive.”

Asked about Sporting Gijón, he commented that, “Sporting are a team coming after two great results, but the true is that, beyond searching for the victory in Valencia, they found out the result. They won, but conceded too many occasions; sometimes their keeper and sometimes the lack of aim by Valencia produced the 0-1 result. It is an ordered team and we have the experience of the first round. They keep the same idea and we hope to control the game and create opportunities. We need to improve our effectiveness scoring goals, because we can see that with what we have right now it hasn’t been enough.”

He emphasized the need for balance, “We want to improve in everything, both in offense and defence.  Actually we work for that during the week. We are searching for the best performance and to try to be a balanced team. We have been balanced between defence and offense.”

The coach also warned that Depor must remain alert after allowing two quick goals in the first round match, “We had the experience of the first game and learned the lesson, since then we haven’t arrived late to any game. What’s also true is that in some opportunities we went out really quickly from the games and it neither can happen.”

Finally, Víctor doesn’t give importance to the negative streak of Depor visiting Sporting, “There are statistics that invite you to make those valorizations, this for the streaks of the teams, but we aren’t thinking of that, because those tendencies don’t help us to prepare the games. That information doesn’t help us to visualize the rival or to define how we will prepare the game. It doesn’t bring any useful information, so we don’t give importance to it.”

Sporting’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s noon. He was warning that this match is more difficult than the latest win at Mestalla, “The game against Deportivo is going to be more complicate than the one against Valencia. As example, Lucas Pérez is at a great level and is a top-level striker. They are a strong and vertical team with extraordinary movements, physically and tactically they are among the best in la liga. We need to be alert in order to not lose the ball and avoid mistakes in the output of the ball.”

“It’s also a team that allows you to play, but they have a lot of resources in attack and are also powerful in strategic plays, and we know that we aren’t too powerful in this aspect, especially after Bernardo’s injury. It’s going to be a difficult game, but I believe that we can win.” He added.

He didn’t’ want to confirm if Sporting are going to repeat the lineup as the media is predicting, “We will see. Normally we would have lost the game in Valencia, but we won, the team defended well and I believe we played better against Atlético Madrid and we ended losing there. Still, the victory has meant a boost for us.”

The Asturian man picked 19 players for the game and he explained why, “Álex Menéndez is carrying a knock in a knee, probably it isn’t serious, but we need to be careful. Also Nacho Cases has been sick and isn’t recovered yet.” 




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