Competition news


19 May 2013
Depor’s coach is aware of the importance of the meeting as he assures that there’s no other way than to win, while Espanyol’s manager admitted that the less habitual players will perform, though trying to keep the same level shown before Madrid.

Javier Aguirre Onaindía, aka El Vasco (The Basque) Aguirre, is a Mexican coach that previously had a long career playing as a midfielder, mostly of his career was made in his home country and also at CA Osasuna in la liga. He made 59 appearances for the Mexican national team between the years 1983 and 1992 and retired in 1993. He began to train in 1995 and became a successful coach after qualifying with Mexico to the FIFA World Cup 2002.

He landed in la liga after the event and became a notorious coach as his CA Osasuna survived at Primera for four straight years and even qualified the Navarran team for the preliminary round in the UEFA Champions League. In 2006 he took charge of Atlético Madrid and also had good results putting the team in the biggest club’s tournament in Europe, but left the job after a conflict with the players.

Since then his career has been irregular, he was called again to coach Mexico and qualified for the 2010 World Cup, but he didn’t convince the strict local media, neither left a positive impression at Real Zaragoza though Los Maños were miraculously saved for the season 2010/11. On November 28, 2012 he was named as the new coach of RCD Espanyol after the exit of Mauricio Pochettino. At the time Los Periquitos were the last place at the standings.

In this opportunity the Mexican coach had a direct impact at the team as RCD Espanyol escaped the relegation zone being the fifth best team in the second round. For this reason he’s currently negotiating an extension of his contract, which could be sealed on next week. This is his first liga meeting against Fernando Vázquez.

Depor’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s noon; he emphasized the importance of this meeting, “It is a game that we must win. It’s the only thing we can do, there’s no other way and the demand is high for the players, because we need to win this game. It’s what we are asking. I, as the coach, and also the fans, because the players must win this match.”

 “We must have a clear mind and go out for the victory. We must win on here, then on Malaga and finalize the job against Real Sociedad. Three must-win matches. We must think of ourselves. It’s useless to look to other games, because later you end failing. We failed in Valladolid, so what’s the purpose of been looking to other places? We cannot fail, that’s the point.” He added.

The Galician tactician also assured that the team is in good mood despite losing the last game, “Yes, I believe the team is recovered. The team is fine. You end disappointed after the game and it’s normal, but after the dinner we were already thinking of the next game. I already said it before the game at Valladolid. The team is able to dominate the actions. But to control the ball is meaningless if you don’t have depth, width and scoring opportunities. We must emphasize some aspects and follow the same path though it isn’t wrong to dominate the game.”

Then he explained that he hasn’t decided yet the lineup and even admitted the possibility of playing with two strikers, “I think of many things, and yes it’s a possibility to play with Nélson [Oliveira] in the starting lineup, I mean with both Nélson and Riki. It’s something I already thought. Nélson was fine in the last game and I’m happy for him, he’s ready to play and is fine, I dream of seeing him as a determinant player for our permanence. About seeing him as a starter on Sunday, truly I can tell you that I don’t know what we are going to do.”

“Neither Nélson was the revulsive that we wanted though the team was transformed after his entry; we exchanged the position of Valerón and assumed some risks. The outcome was positive, but we were already losing 0-1 due to some circumstances and we must remember this.” He added.

And important thing is that El Profesor confessed that he doesn’t know if Abel Aguilar will be ready to perform for the full ninety minutes, “We must analyze his situation, we still have to determine if he’s ready to play for the full ninety minutes, it’s the question that we must know before the game, and later we’ll think of the better situation for both him and the team.”

Later he said that the anxiety for been in relegation won’t be a factor in the match, “I don’t think the team is feeling affected for been in relegation, and it’s that the team has already assumed our position; it’s under control. I want to think that it isn’t affecting us, so I believe that our need will impose over any anxiety. When a team is in need ad faces another team without it, then the winner should be the one in need.”

About the rival, the Castrofeito-born man said that, “Espanyol isn’t a team based in the ball possession; it’s a team for the counterattack, a rival that searches for your weaknesses in order to attack, that’s Espanyol. With Verdú, Wakaso, Sergio [García], Stuani… they ran a lot and are very dangerous, so we must able to attack with depth and at the same time to avoid the counterattack from the rival, but I consider that we already learned the lesson.”

“There are teams that already fulfilled the goals for the season, and I believe that Espanyol is one of them as their European chances are remote, therefore Espanyol isn’t weakened as they are physically strong, but what can fail is the mental issue; in the end, living this kind of situation, you react in a different way when things go wrong.” He added regarding the issue.

There was time to talk of the referees and the rumours of fixed games, “I talk of the referees after the game, judging their performance, but before… I sincerely don’t think we are down there for this reason, but for other causes, because the team was too irregular. That the referees committed mistakes it is true. I must study the rules in order to become a coach; therefore I can give my opinion if I think it was penalty or not, since that point I believe the referee committed a mistake, but without forgetting that this is a tough job.”

“I read people talking if this or the other team was sold, and all I do is to go each day to Abegondo in order to train. We are focused in this game, in the present, which is fundamental for the future of the club. It’s fundamental for the viability of the club to clinch the permanence.” He added.

Since Thursday it was rumoured that the club has offered a three or four-year renewal to the coach, but he denied the fact of been negotiating, “What four years? I haven’t talked with Lendoiro about this issue. Sincerely, until today, the situation is in the same point where it was before. I don’t want to distract people. What’s the importance of this right now? Nothing.”

Vázquez ended the press conference talking of Depor’s potential and the one of the other teams in the competition at this height of the competition, “In the game against Athletic Bilbao, we were under our real potential; in the game at Sevilla, if we would have played at our real level, then we would have won. The game against Atlético Madrid, well… it’s probable that we… it’s hard to explain what happen, because we were facing a rival with a high pace and it was tough for us to keep that pace. Now we face Espanyol, Malaga and Real Sociedad, tough rivals in the beginning, but at this point of the competition it’s different, because according to the circumstances what before was tough could end up being easier. Espanyol, Malaga and other teams aren’t the same ones of recent months.”

Espanyol’s coach addressed the media on Saturday’s noon; he admitted that the Catalan team is going to play with the less habitual players, mainly due to the casualties hitting the team, but promised to keep the pace shown in the last game against Real Madrid, “I hope the less habitual players will spread the message to the rest, because this is their chance to manifest and participate. Nobody has giving anything for free to them.”

“As a football team our obligation is to defend this institution until the end of the season, and if we win the remaining three games then we´ll still have the chance to fight for Europe; I believe that it’s possible with nine points. As long as there’s hope to reach the European spot it’s enough in order to go out for everything at the Riazor.” He added.

The Mexican man continued trying to motivate his players, “We must fight, fight and fight. I told my players that against Madrid they put the bar very high and also that, though tomorrow other men are going to play, it’s the same club and my obligation is to not allow them to lift the arms, no matter who the rival is and the scenario. We know that they’re in need, but we cannot allow a decrease in the intensity.”

He’s pretty aware of the importance of the match for Deportivo, “They have a need; they urgently need the three points. It’s a final for them and are forced to win in front of their people. If we’re capable of managing the rival and their nerves, then it will be a good signal. But if we don’t pay attention then it could happen to us the same thing than against Sevilla [0-3 in 30 minutes] we must give our best in the remaining three games.”

Finally, Aguirre was praising Valerón for his meaning at Depor, “Riki is an important player, because thirteen goals mean a lot. But Valerón is the motor of the team, he pulls the strings. We all must stand up when he’s performing on the pitch.”



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