Interviews

Q&A WITH FERNANDO VŃZQUEZ

17 Nov 2020
Fernando VŠzquez conceded an interview to Sportpaper AS. The coach of Deportivo talked of the injured players, the break in liga, the criticism and the near future of the team.

Q: How have you been with the break this week and with only a dozen players training?
A: We looked like an indoor team. We have players with issues, although it isnít serious, with several players without training as a precaution. I think next week we will get almost everyone back.

Q: How are the injured defenders doing? They seem gaffed.
A: ValŪnís injury was bad luck, a blow with Adri Castro that ended in a sprain. Hector is with issues. Eneko and Salva have already joined the team. Granero has knee problems, his knee is a bit swollen, but I hope the liquid dries up. I trust that, next week, all will be back except Derik, I even hope ValŪn could be ready.

Q: The break is good physically, and sportingly?
A: I think it suits us. Getting people back is already an important help. The true is that I didnít understand the reason for this break in Segunda B, I think nobody knows. But looking forward, it doesnít hurt us. At the collective level it isnít a great advantage either, because I have few people.

Q: When this started, you said that it was needed a month to see a full Depor and it is fulfilled now...
A: In this world sometimes you create expectations... And even if they are met, it depends on how happy you are. You cannot be happy if you arenít satisfied and always want more. It is a vital thought. In life sometimes we arenít happy, because we have almost everything, but we want more. That is why we are unhappy. That happens a bit at Depor. I know where I am and what team I train. The team is delivering on the numbers level, but it isnít enough. Many people prefer to be unhappy rather than happy.

Q: Although the message from the beginning was that 'nobody is going to roll over on here', it may hurt the fans to see later that it is a reality...
A: As much as you send a message, it can be received or not. If the Cup is analyzed and you see what happens to many Primera teams facing those of Segunda B... The other day Imanol remembered what they suffered the previous year to eliminate Becerril, a Tercera club... I defeated Primera teams with Segunda B outfits. Mallorca went down two years ago to Segunda B with a team very similar to the one they had at Primera. I invite you to see those games. I can't promise to promote Depor in November. But I promise, which is difficult to promise, that I will do my best to see Depor at Segunda Division next year. I consider Deportivismo an impressive movement. I am convinced that it is with the team. You have to bring confidence to the team. If the shots go towards me... that's something else. A team is what you think it is. If you trust us it will be better. I think the fans trust their coach. Why is the Depor so big if we are in Segunda B? Because the fans are very great, because people love the club.

Q: Would those doubts be different if the fans could go to the field?
A: Of course, it is related. I don't know how the fans would react to us, but I know that we lose a lot without them. There are people who want to explain the situation of Athletic, because the tie with the fans was broken; evidently. We are a bit orphaned without them. We beat Salamanca because there were 3,000 fans at the stands; We lost a very important trick. Now it is more difficult for the fans to appreciate what state the team is in. I don't know if it's about social networks, I'm not into it. Or maybe the media are gaining more strength, because it is what exists, there is no support from the fans. We are great because we are a lot and good. Let's adopt a culture of team support in difficult times. Depor identity, in good and bad moments. Whatever happens.

Q: It isnít only in Segunda B, in recent years there was almost more tension in Segunda and Primera. Do you think it is the weight of the great past of Depor?
A: You have to analyze what happened in recent years and do all self-criticism. I remember in the year I was promoted to Primera, the fans and the media asked me at the beginning of the season not to be relegated to Segunda B. That team achieved something very difficult. You have to analyze what happened next. I say unity, unity; support, ongoing support in the field. No division. No gossip. Now that young kids are arriving, let have that identity and the footballer can feel what Depor is. Depor is above the results. Itís great news that Depor were dropped to Segunda B and there is no social fracture. I was in other clubs that after relegation it was almost impossible to train.

Q: Is it little valued the fact that the team is the leader?
A: Sometimes I put myself in the opposite situation. Imagine that we have 4 points and the team was a spectacle playing. It would be the same. The team met expectations in terms of game, but not in results. I am not happy, because I want something else. I understand it, but I would like to see Depor's pre-season analyzed. When did it start, which footballers were there, which ones left, in what state the signings were coming. To think that, in 15 days, you needed to synchronize things, improve in offense and defenseÖ itís almost asking for pears from the elm. Itís materially impossible. I think we are in a good situation, you cannot ask for the promotion in November. You have to prepare for when you play the competition in the further rounds. Meanwhile, you have to know how to wait and be patient. I know that the team is evolving and is going to improve in attack and defense. When is it going to happen? I donít know. I know that every day we are closer. There are people who say and write that last year the team knew what they were playing and now they don't. I think thereís a clear difference and that the idea of this Depor is not the same as last year. That it isnít perfect? Obviously, it is clear. But we know where we are going. And in case it doesnít work, the coach doesnít master a single facet of how to attack and defend. If this model doesnít work, it would have the ability to apply another one. I need time and, if while it happens we win, the better. It is what we are doing.

Q: It is striking that, after testing it during pre-season, you still hasnít played with two forwards.
A: I never said I was going to play with two forwards. I have four at the squad and with Rolan, five. The function of a coach is to analyze the players and from there make a structure for those who are in the best moment to play. I trained 4-4-2, because it is very practical to learn many things. I thought I was going to have forwards of a certain level, but it will be when I consider that all the forwards are ready to play for the full 90 minutes. I am not a slave to any system and, it seems that every year, I have to demonstrate things that I have already demonstrated in the past.

Q: Do you think you are being criticized excessively?
A: I don't notice that, really. What I don't understand is that they want to defend me from criticism, because I don't feel that people are doubting Fernando VŠzquez. I'm very calm and the club is letting me work perfectly.

Q: Do you identify with what happens to Zidane?
A: No, I don't feel that pressure. I am calm and comfortable. Every now and then I do something stupid, like any human being. After the Coruxo game you had the impression at the press conference that I was angry with the journalists, because they criticized me. It wasn't that. It wasnít the best press conference of my life, I admit that I could be a bit on the edge. But I already gave those answers other times... I am not hurt with the media. Also, you know me, and you know that I appreciate the media, which I think is fundamental in this sport. They are the spokespersons with the fans. It was more that, at the end of the game, I wanted to be super critical of the team, although I watched the game again and I am not so critical anymore. I get carried away a bit, and I should never do that.

Q: Before you were talking about happiness. Are you happy now?
A: I was very unhappy in the summer, because of everything that happened. I still have a sense of misunderstanding. But every day I am more involved in the reality of returning to Segunda A for sporting merits, for a promotion.

Q: We now put aside the words Tebas, CSD, Fuenlabrada...
A: Of course, you can talk about that, which doesnít mean that we donít have assumed the situation. I already said that I have assumed it. I know where I am and what I am for. That doesnít eliminate my ability to reason and debate the situation. I'm out of it, but I still think the same as I did before. Forget, I will never forget. And forgive him, either. I will remember it because what happened was too serious.

Q: Let's get back to the team. Has the time come for a greater role for Gandoy or Borja GalŠn?
A: I usually start playing in a certain way and I choose some players, I am not a coach who suddenly changes due to a bad game. I am to give confidence to a footballer. But of course, there may come a time in which itís time to change. Borja GalŠn is perfect to compete, every day he is better. Gandoy, exactly the same. I can make the decision at any time. But it is not a problem, it is an advantage. I have options.

Q: Now you have one more bullet, Diego Rolan. Four games and sell it in January?
A You have to ask Richard Barral, I don't know what the club's policy is. But I don't care. I have to talk to him and get him in shape; that's my responsibility. Then, see if the footballer is there to help us or not. How many matches? Well I donít know. He tells me that yes, he is here to play and compete. If he can help us in two, three or four games, we will take advantage of it.

Q: And if Rolan comes out and scores twice, then another two and the team is seen, in quotes, dependent on him and then the club lose him.
A: If Rolan is superdeterminant, the club will have to make the decision. Mine, as a coach, would be to keep him. That's up to other people.

Q: After Guijuelo, the games with Racing and Pontevedra. Are these matches viewed as a small test?
A: Similar to any game, another part of the competition. I'm not waiting for Pontevedra or Racing to arrive to prove something. What we have to do is to win now and we have to win later too.

Q: Do you think that, after the advances with the vaccine, this league will end with public at the stands?
A: Yes I think so. I even think before the vaccine. The situation is complicated, difficult and tough. When it improves a little, I always think of the Riazor with 30,000 seats, that 4,000 or 5,000 spectators can be well organized without danger in the open air doesnít seem like something that cannot be done. You have to organize it well, especially to manage people in and out. I think it isnít contradictory to say that the situation is complicated and that you cannot have public. I think you can organize to watch football with security.

Q: What do you think that the club asked to organize the final phase of the promotion playoff at the Riazor?
A: It would be a relief. Itís difficult to understand the competitive intelligence that we have to play everything to one match on a neutral ground during a decisive phase. We know what football is. I always say that 50% is what you do and another random. I don't understand the reason. Which? The COVID? Why can't you play a two-leg round? Is there a lack of dates? It's that nobody explains anything. Who forms the Federation? Clubs have no opinion? Who decided, the president of the RFEF? I donít know. And if we don't lose a game and in the second round there is a hand, penalty, red card... We risk everything to one card. Itís curious, because the Cup semifinals will be two-legged, a format made by the Federation itself. We will seeÖ

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