Interviews

Q&A WITH LUIS C…SAR

18 Oct 2019
Coach Luis Cťsar Sampedro conceded an interview to newspaper La Opiniůn A CoruŮa; he analyzed the situation at the first team after the poor game at UD Las Palmas.

Q: How was your first week leading the team?
A: It was all against the clock. I arrived at a club that has problems, because if the club didnít have these problems, then I wouldnít have arrived, and with three or four days to prepare a game you have to limit everything; you need to arrive in conditions for the match. From there I have a better reading, both tactical and mental.

Q: What conclusions did you get?
A: It was a painful experience, but wonderful at the same time. It has given me a lot of data and a lot of information about how the team is doing. Based on that, I have to suture, work, fix and persevere in what I want. We had a very bad version, collective and individually, but I have much more data today than a week ago.

Q: Does a week leading Deportivo in this situation weigh more than at other places?
A: I will not presume of been an expert, because I can give a wrong message. I assume all this with professionalism and naturalness. The negative results bring many things behind: nervousness, impatience, bad mood... I understand that everyone is angry about the situation of Deportivo; I arrived because the team is poorly located at the standings, and I know that when I arrive at a team in the middle of the league it is because there are problems. Now we have a bunch of problems. I am realistic and I will be optimistic. Realistic because I take care of the situation and optimistic because I have the conviction that I will be able to turn this around with my players. This is not cheap demagogy, I donít live in imaginary worlds or look the other way; I know we are in a complicated situation, but I am confident that this will be fixed.

Q: What do you emphasize before receiving MŠlaga?
A: All the miseries we did the other day and that led us to play a bad game from minute 1 to 90; we have seen all the errors, so that the players can identify them, not because I tell them. The player believes by what he sees, not by what he hears. This is a day to day work so that everything is homogeneous and we have to be better every day.

Q: How are the players?
A: We have to live isolated from everything else and be waterproof; always, also when we win. We should not listen too much, even when they praise us. When they speak badly, then we donít need to hear it. Professionals have to be waterproof. Players have to focus on their performance, not in the previous game. We cannot drag anguish to the next game. With all this I donít say that you have to be irresponsible or immature, what we cannot do is to play the game with the situation at the standings between eyebrow and eyebrow.

Q: However, itís hard to be abstracted when around the team there is a lot of noise generated by the bad situation...
A: It isnít easy, but being a football professional means a lot of things. Being a coach when you win is very easy and going to press conferences when you win is wonderful, but you also have to go when you lose and lose and lose. The same thing happens with players, but you have to be experts in forgetting; It is part of the trade.

Q: Are the players prepared to face a situation like this?
A: If they are at Deportivo it is because they have achieved things and because nobody has given them for free. They have had to suffer and go through critical moments in their careers. They have had to win games at certain moments to move up or stay. They have to remember that itís possible to get out of there and we are going to do it. The streaks end, also the bad ones. There will come a time when we don't play well and win; not like now that we play badly and lose, we play regular and we lose, and we play well and then we tie.

Q: But this squad was made for other things, the players who were here and those who arrived this summer didnít do it to avoid demotion...
A: But they were at other teams. That would be worth it if everyone at the squad came to always win. Here there are players who come to get the promotion, players who have been in teams that lost and bounced back. We are talking about expert people, but obviously nobody gets used to suffering. Football are joys and sorrows: when you win thereí peace and it lasts for five days and when you lose you are overwhelmed for five days. The result leaves an emotional hangover in the environment. If we win but we play badly, it is said that we play badly; if we play well but we don't win, we talk about not winning; and if we play well and win, we talk about how good Depor is. Itís normal. We have to be prepared for this and I am. I see it as logical and it seems to me that the noise isnít too big, and I have been in several places in Spain, for the situation at the standings that Deportivo are living.

Q Are you comparing to other places?
A: I have been coming to the Riazor for many years, since I was a player in the 1990ís and I was parking on the sidewalk in front of Green to save me parking. I've seen everything here. I have seen Champions, with enchanted people, but I have also seen the team suffering at Primera and relegated with people supporting. I have seen Deportivo in Segunda with the people supporting, but now we are in Segunda and below, people have to be very angry. I see that as soon as we give something to the fans, because I know we will do it, they will be with us. We want to give, but we are not able at the moment.

Q: Why are they not capable?
A: Because they have spent ten games without winning. The faces of the other day are not to lose in Las Palmas only, they are to lose ten games. If they win five games before and lose in Las Palmas, then they don't have those faces. The baggage of defeats and disappointments makes them emotionally sunk, because things arenít working out.

Q: So, is Deportivo's problem more emotional or is for the lack of game?
A: Both.

Q: Which is the most serious?
A: I think of the game. We do things wrong.

Q: What is the team missing?
A: Many things. The defensive tactical rigor of the other day was very bad, the pace of the game was very bad, the heights between the lines were very bad, the speed was bad, we always defended a second later, there were few recoveries, little attack... I could give a list of things that I didnít like, but faces are the consequence of everything. The faces of the players would be like the leak, but to find the error you have to chop a lot and can be 30 meters further back. The fault I think has more to do with the game, with football.

Q: Does the improvement go through a revolution, game system included?
A: Itís more a complete change in terms of football. Now I have more information after the exam in Las Palmas.

Q: What would you like Deportivo to play?
A: I would like it to be a hybrid: not just thinking about my goal waiting for the counterattack or just thinking about the oppositeís goal. There are two goals and I think of both. I have to find a playing style that allows me to be balanced.

Q: In situations like this, many topics usually come out, one is intensity...
A: I do not see a decrease in intensity, I see a decrease in the game.

Q: However, on Sunday, in the second goal Las Palmas, they had a corner in favour, mane a short pass and nobody comes to put pressure...
A: A tactical problem, but we didnít lose by the first goal nor by the second. We lost because we deserved to lose, if they didn't score that goal, then they would have scored another. I didn't like that goal, but I liked the first one less. The other day we would have lost the same because we did many things wrong, very badly. I know when there is a decrease in intensity, but you always turn to it when you don't win. I do not like that. The decrease in intensity can be when you are in well placed at the standings, and you receive a rival of little importance. In the situation we are in, players arenít in a situation to leave anything.

Q: Another topic is the mentality, are Deportivo lacking leaders inside the changing room?
A: They are not lacking leaders. There are leaders, people who give everything and itís a mirror. People see how they train and even if they say nothing, they already pulling the players. There are hard and honest people here. I don't see any toxic players, which has happened to me in my career.

Q: You examine the players and they do the same with you during the training, how do you think they see you?
A: What I want is for them to think is that I am going to give them all the possible tools to beat the rivals, that nothing will be left to chance and that we will be look at every detail so that they know what they are going to face. Every week we will correct the previous game, although we win.

Q: In your presentation you said that you were coming for everything and that meant the promotion, should we forget now?
A: It isnít forgotten, because no one has been promoted yet. As no one has been promoted, I have fewer options than the others. On October 16 I have fewer options than others, but maybe on November 16 I have many more and maybe on December 16 I have even more. Thatís what to look for. In order to achieve this, we have to do things better than in Las Palmas, look for the best version of many players individually and from there we will win games. When we win games, then we will improve on the options we currently have, which are few compared to others. Now there are teams that have it better, but they have to spend the fall, winter and spring. There is a world to go. This is like a marathon. We are at kilometer 11 and one runner is highlighted, but it has to go through 20 and 30. Maybe someone goes through a crisis like ours at kilometer 30. We have to put teams behind.

Q: Is the current squad useful or if tomorrow the winter market opens you would take advantage of it to give it a spin?
A: I don't think about that, I think about improving the performance of these players because they can do much better. When the January market arrives, you can see the possibilities and where we are at the standings. We may all be happy and it may not be. Today I cannot answer that and also is that I havenít even considered it. I have good players, like the others. We arenít doing well at the collective level and at the individual level they arenít in their best version, but they will be. I have the conviction that this squad can do better and needs a good result, but you don't have to become obsessed with the result. They have to become obsessed with day-to-day work, with doing things well and with the performance to get to the points.

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