Competition news


04 May 2013
Depor’s coach expects that the casualties hitting his team won’t affect the possibilities for the match; he’s optimistic in defeating Atlético. Meanwhile, Simeone wants a victory in order to continue in the path to the Champions League.

Diego Pablo Simeone is one of the most successful coaches in today’s football, but also made a name in his career as a player. The Argentine man played at seven different clubs, including Atlético Madrid, team where he won La Liga and the Copa Del Rey during the season 1995/96. He also conquered all the titles in Italy playing for SS Lazio plus adding the UEFA Cup with Internazionale, only missing to conquer the Champions League.

He was also a record man playing for Argentina; he made 106 appearances with his national team; currently he’s the third man on the list of more international matches at the South American country, only below Javier Zanetti (145) and Roberto Ayala (115). As it happened with his resume at the clubs, he conquered several titles, including the Copa America 1991 & 1993, but missed the highest price: the FIFA World Cup.

Simeone extended his successful run when he decided to become a football coach. He conquered the Torneo Apertura 2006 with Estudiantes and later the Torneo Clausura 2008 with River Plate. On December 23, 2011, Simeone was unveiled as the new Atlético Madrid coach and had an imminent impact at the team, because he only needed eight months to earn two European titles: the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. Many people complained because he wasn’t named as part of the finalists in the UEFA list for manager of the year.

For the present season his team had impressive run at the beginning adding 25 of the first 27 points in dispute; currently they are third at the standings and will probably play the next UEFA Champions League. This is his first meeting against Fernando Vázquez, a man that broke his hibernation of six years to establish his best mark as a Primera coach: six straight matchdays without losing.

Deportivo’s coach addressed the media on Thursday’s morning; he talked for twenty minutes with reporters. The first subject discussed is how the team will be affected by the four absentees at the squad, “I hope it won’t affect the level of the squad and that neither will reduce the warranties for success. No matter who is available this is an important game for everyone, the club, the team and also to the fans. I know the team will respond at 100%”

“We are missing Pizzi, Abel Aguilar... it is a new situation for me as Pizzi isn’t available; in the end you return to the same point. We always have the possibility of switching the structure of the team and the draw. It is always there. Anything is possible.” It was the response of the Galician manager asked if he’s thinking in switching the system.

About the clauses in the loan contracts of Pizzi and Sílvio that are keeping them away from the game; Vázquez commented that, “These clauses exist. There’s no problem in putting the players in terms of the rules, but there’s a clause in the contract. You don’t care when you sign the deal, but later are upset at the moment of the match. This is the reality. For us both have been important players and we are going to miss them. I know the club asked for permission in order to see both men playing, but knowing Simeone… [He laughed]”

Then he confessed that Salomão will hardly be available for the match, “I haven’t talked to the doctors, but I see it as a very difficult possibility, it’s complicated.” He was more optimistic in the case of Aythami Artiles,
“He’s dragging issues that are repeated from time to time, but he should be part of the list of sixteen field players for the game. I think he’ll be ready.”

He also commented the fact this was a short week for Depor after playing on Monday in Seville, “At this height of the competition you don’t train in order to build up something, you can only make cognitive tactical trainings, it is what it is. The physical charge is low and clearly this has been a really short week. La Liga decided it, though it isn’t normal to play on Monday at 10PM and then again on Saturday, but things are like this and you have to accept it. “

‘The Teacher’ explained the kind of match that he’s expecting against Atlético, “I believe it’s a game like any other match against Atlético Madrid; they like the counterattack, so it’s possible to suffer if we aren’t fine at defense. It’s possible to see us dominating, having the ball possession, hopefully, and later Atlético will try to run. We should stop their counterattack; I hope for it. They aren’t a team characterized for having long possessions, instead they prefer to retreat and rely in the counterattack, long throws and runs.”

“I like to play against big teams; Atlético are making a great season, but their current situation is stable at the standings; five games are remaining and they are six points under the second spot, so the game shouldn’t be a bad meeting for us, you know. I think we can face them; I am optimistic in carrying away with the game, though we will suffer, because they aren’t an easy rival to beat. In the head of Simeone you surely will find the thought of coming here in order to win.” He added

He also denied that Depor are going to put a special mark over Radamel Falcao, this despite the Colombian scored five goals in the first round match, “The defensive concept won’t be changed, because there won’t be a special mark over Falcao. One way to see Falcao missing to score is to almost always watch him standings at midfield, and that’s what we are going to try. “

“We have two options. The first is to wait at the back zone and release the counterattack, which means to see us running and not Atlético Madrid. And the other option is to put pressure upfront and attack Atlético Madrid’s defense avoiding their counterattack. The key is how to stop their counterattack. No matter how perfect you could play there will always be a counterattack, and you need to find the cure for the counterattack. The team should not feel scared and should know what to do.” He added.

The Castrofeito-born tactician is convinced that the memories from the 0-6 loss of the first round won’t be a factor for the game, “That game is already forgotten and won’t influence in this meeting. There’s no sense of revenge. Revenge is negative and doesn’t help to compete better; you cannot extract something positive from a negative issue. Can you? [He laughed]”

Another interesting part in the press conference was the comments of Depor’s head coach related to the latest match-fixing scandal. He was upset with Barkero for unveiling these doubts,   “There were some declarations from one player. I read about it and, as a Deportivista, fell offended. It’s my feeling. Now, we, the Deportivistas, have a clear conscious and don’t know how the conscience of Barkero is. The games can be explained in thousand ways and under our current situation I believe is unthinkable that our players haven’t been paid and that later we have the resources to pay for weird stuff. “

“It’s unforgivable to see a professional player suggesting this possibility and it’s hammering us. We should be offended, but calmed. The games can be explained in many ways and nothing more. Barkero should know what happened and will surely suffer the consequences. This is unbearable for Deportivo La Coruña.” He added

Finally, Fernando Vázquez hailed the performance of Atlético Madrid under the command of Diego Simeone, “This kind of coach, dynamic and emotive, brings a lot of things to football. You see any team and know how the coach thinks. The season of Atlético is great and it speaks greatly of him.”

Atlético’s coach also addressed the media on Thursday’s morning; he didn’t want to talk of the past Madrilenian derby, but assured that the team is united, “We haven’t talked too much of the past game. We’ve focused in talking of the next meeting, which is what interest us as it will approach us to the goal: to put Atlético back into the Champions League.”

“We were all together in the trip to Azerbaijan and it’s a positive thing after a tough defeat. It was useful to meet a fantastic country. We faced a friendly game that was useful to see the less habitual players getting some minutes.” He added.

He didn’t answered if the team will feel tired after playing a friendly game in Azerbaijan; he just commented that, “We trained yesterday in the afternoon, also today and will repeat the session tomorrow. The team makes the trip on Saturday, because the match is at 10PM. We aspire to approach the objective of the season.”

About Deportivo, the Argentine trainer said that, “You can notice that the positive results are restoring their confidence, which is fundamental in football. You can notice that this is a team that wants to be protagonist, a team that likes to have control over the ball and that have important people up front, men like Bruno Gama, Riki and Valerón; they have offensive potential.”

Asked about the absences of Pizzi and Sílvio for contract reasons he commented that, “They are having minutes at Depor and the best thing that can happen to any player is to have minutes, because it helps them to grow up. Pizzi is giving a hand to the team and is living a great moment.”

The former player of Inter was also asked about the possible changes to face Deportivo, and he practically confirmed the lineup saying that, “Adrián and Cebolla [Rodriguez] will be the novelties compared to the players that didn’t perform the other day.”

Finally, Simeone denied that Atlético will be the judge in the race for the permanence despite his team is facing Depor, Celta, Zaragoza and Mallorca within the final five matchdays, “I always say that la liga is very long and what matters is the last part, but it isn’t the most important one in terms of points, because the tournament have thirty or more games to mark the tendency of the teams. I don’t think it will be determinant to know what will happen in our games against them.”



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