Competition news


04 Sep 2011
Third confrontation between these two coaches; Depor’s trainer didn’t want to confirm if Saul and Salomão are going to be starters, while Hercules’ coach was denying that his team is one of the candidates for the promotion spots.

Juan Carlos Mandiá Lorenzo is a young Galician coach that had the privilege to debut at Primera División as a player when he was only 17; he later he performed for RC Celta and completed 92 appearances with the sky-blue shirt. He retired in 2000 at Córdoba CF and two years later he began his career as a coach at CD Logroñes, just as former coach Lotina did.

This is his third stage as the coach of Hércules CF; he coached the Valencian team without the years 2004 and 2006 and also for the season 2008-2009, in this last period the club was at Segunda and he was also the sporting manager of the team; Mandia achieved good results, but left the club in order to debut as a coach at Primera with Racing Santander, but he only lasted three months on the job.

For the past season Mandia signed for Tenerife CF after Gonzalo Arconada was fired from the job, but again he didn’t last too much as was sacked after just four months. For this season he was chosen as the coach that should put back Hércules at Primera. 

This is the third time in which Mandia faces José Luis Oltra in a Segunda clash; the previous two opportunities occurred back on the season 2006/07; at the time Mandia s coaching Hércules, while Oltra was the coach of Tenerife; both coaches won one game in the series.

On Friday, Depor’s coach gave his press conference before the meeting; it was held at Abegondo and lasted twenty-two minutes. He was asked if the coaching staff was satisfied with the moves made during the transfer window, and he responded that, “The team is very good, it’s the best. I’m happy and content as the important men are staying and also because we brought what we wanted, so I’m happy. We have people that are willing to stay, maybe the only bad thing is the large number of players as we have twenty-four field players plus three keepers, which means twenty-eight men, but we will surpass it and some of them know that they won’t have too many minutes.”

Later he was asked if the team was needing a fourth striker and the response was, “I have enough team to play with two strikers, habitually we only play with one, and also have enough people that can arrive from behind, men that have the ability to score goals, so the position is well covered.  The president has fulfilled all that he told me in the first reunion. I know that he was tempted to sell Andrés Guardado, but his priority was the sporting issue rather to think of the economic aspect.”

Oltra was asked if Morel is going to have more opportunities, and the coach said that, “I will make decisions at the proper time; all the players that have stayed are part of the team, but some of them will not have the same opportunities or minutes, and I already told them. But under some circumstances they could have a chance, though we also have the B team for that.”

Asked about the departure of Ruben Pérez, the Valencian trainer said that, “He wanted to go out and we must say it clearly; he was seeking for the door out as he wanted another future and I understand it. He never wanted to compete during the pre-season and we understood that the best was to allow his exit. We are content as the issue was solved. If he would have stayed probably he would have changed his mind, but clearly he would be in a different position as he wasn’t at the same level in a mental and tactical sense. His head was more out than in.”

Bruno Gama and Borja Fernandez are out of the meeting due to injury reasons, Oltra commented that he won’t rush them back to the squad after it was commented that both might be ready for the next matches,
“I won’t fix dates, to fix dates in never good, no matter how important a player is. Right now they are evolving, but yes, the progression of Bruno and Borja is good.”

The polemic of the day came later as reporters asked about a conversation that Oltra had with Ze Castro after the training, Oltra said that, “I just asked about his family, if he is feeling good, I asked where he lives. Ze Castro is staying, but he is a player of Depor, but also Rochela has stayed. I trust in Ze Castro and think that has solid characteristics. He is important and I want to see him plugged since the first day. Ze Castro, Rochela, Colotto… they are our central defenders. I see that Ze Castro is hopeful, just like the rest. I like to talk to my players; a few days ago I did it with Rochela.”

Oltra was later upset as a reporter insinuated that he talked with the player because there was a problem -he yielded for a while to reporter Alberto Gomez Barros from Onda Cero- “Tomorrow I will talk with another player and in the next day with another. The fact that I talked to Ze Castro doesn’t mean that he has a problem.” He argued

During Friday’s training session it gave the impression that Salomão and Saul are going to be starters, but the coach didn’t want to confirm it, “All the players that are training have a chance to play, I repeat, I am not a coach that likes to give clues. All the players that trained today have chances to play. You will see it tomorrow as we release the list.”

Finally, Oltra talked of Hércules, “I don’t’ want to say that they’re a direct rival, because we don’t know where both clubs will be at the end of the season. Right now we are similar rivals as both clubs are recently relegated teams. I think they have made good signings; they are making a solid preparation and have good individualities. We will see how many time do they need for a proper adaptation. They have good arguments and I believe that this is the right game to see our people supporting the team. It is a complicate rival and it will be a tough match.”

Hercules’ coach gave a press conference on Friday; taking in mind that his team has made sixteen signings during the summer market, he didn’t want to label his team as a candidate for the promotion, “We are just a team under formation and must know ourselves; our only goal for this season is to create a solid base for the future. We have a solid group of players; we are putting together all the pieces in order to prepare a competitive team.”

However, the Galician coach thinks that Deportivo is one of the favourite teams in order to clinch the promotion, “Deportivo La Coruña can be considered as the Barcelona or Real Madrid of Segunda División. Deportivo has an advantage as it kept the structure of last season. If they keep their potential, then we are screwed, though they still have to demonstrate it throughout the match.”

Within the last days, Hércules signed strikers Urko Vera and David Aganzo, and Mandia confirmed that both men aren’t ready to play, “They are delayed compared to the training sessions already completed by the other players. Aganzo even has spent some time without training at any team, so he needs a special pre-season. He must go little by little. We all want to have them available as soon as possible as they are great players.”

Before the press conference, the Lugo-born manager gave an interview to La Voz de Galicia; he confessed that he was surprised when Deportivo suffered the relegation to Segunda, “The true is that I never thought about it, because Depor was one of the teams that I never considered for the relegation, and after watching the last game, match in which they had several opportunities against Valencia… but football is like this, as we speak.”

He also explained why he signed for Hércules, “I knew that the situation was complicated after a traumatic relegation and for the economic problems at the club, but Sergio Fernandez phoned me, he was the sporting director and was also my player. For this reason, if he was betting on me… he knows me better than anyone else, so it was motivating and at the same time it is a club that I already knew. To be honest I didn’t think twice.”

During this interview the former player of Celta didn’t mention that Depor was the favourite side for the promotion, instead he was pointing to the clubs that were eliminated in the promotion playoffs during last season." I think that there are others that are starting in a more favourable position. I mean Elche, side that took part of the playoffs and that kept the same team, or Valladolid. Depor kept the same team, with the exception of the centre midfielders, Almeria has the same structure. Meanwhile, we have made a new team, it still under construction, and I believe that ending among the top six positions will be a success.”

Finally, Mandia was explaining his relationship with Oltra, “We have met in the past, everyone see us as young coaches, and we also played at the same time at Segunda B; he was at Castellón and I at Logroñes, and at the time we even took part of the playoffs. For me he is a great coach, who also was able to achieve great results for his teams. I admire him as a coach and also as a person, without doubt.”



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