Competition news


15 Mar 2014
Many doubts for Depor’s coach, who decided the list for the game until late on Friday. He said that Depor will mix a defensive and offensive approach for this game. Meanwhile, Barca B’s coach is proud for the way his team plays at big stadiums.

Eusebio Sacristán Mena is a well-known former player of FC Barcelona, RC Celta and Real Valladolid that conquered several trophies during his career. He won one UEFA Champions League, one Copa Del Rey and four liga titles playing for the Catalans, all of this within the years 1988 and 1995.  He also played fifteen times with Spain’s national squad and was part of the team that participated in the UEFA Euro 1988, although he didn’t play in any game.

He retired in 2002 at Real Valladolid; at the time he was 38 and ended with an impressive mark of 543 La Liga appearances, the second-best mark at Primera División, only behind legendary goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta. Then he opened a football school in Valladolid and also obtained his coaching degree. Then, within the years 2003 and 2008, he was part of Frank Rijkaard's staff at FC Barcelona.

His first experience as the head coach of a football team was at RC Celta de Vigo; he was hired as the replacement of Pepe Murcia for the season 2009/10 and, despite achieving the permanence at Segunda, he didn’t renew his contract due to some personal problems with the club’s officials. During the summer of 2011 the Valladolid-born man was named as the successor of Luis Enrique at Barcelona B as the latter decided to join Italian outfit AS Roma. So, he has spent the last three years coaching the team and always achieved the permanence at Liga Adelante. This is his second official meeting against Fernando Vázquez after the 0-1 loss of the first round.

Unusual morning at Abegondo; Depor’s coach offered the press conference before the liga meeting, but did it without releasing the list of picked players [it was released hours later] He explained the reasons of the delay, “I have one doubt. I have nineteen players available and need to pick only eighteen. I have to rule out one man and that player that will be sidelined is the fact that I need to think more carefully.”

He also seemed to have doubts due to the characteristics of the rival, “This is a new phase, a special phase, because we are facing a different team tomorrow. It’s a rival with defined characteristics. It will be a different game, at least for me, because in front it will be something out of the ordinary. You need to make other decisions, strategically, and certainly we played a tranquil game there during the first round, now we must define what we are going to do at home; therefore you can have the impression that I was taking care with more emphasis of some aspects, and it’s because I think the rival deserves it. If you look carefully to the numbers of Barca B you will see they went to Zaragoza and won easily, then they won in Majorca. It’s a team that you can defeat, but that can also defeat you pretty easily.”

The Galician coach also stated that his plans are to combine a defensive strategy with a more daring behavior on the pitch, “The game is not to play with a line of five men at the back. For me this game is like playing like against the first team of Barcelona. Strategically you can do two things: wait or go out for them. You can push and not allow them to dominate, or you can go back and let them start to play. One of these two options, or maybe both, will be used this weekend. I don’t know if we will alternate them, but you can be sure that will try to do both things.”

At the same time Vazquez didn’t give importance to the fact that Lopo and Marchena were tested as the couple at the centre of the defense during Friday’s training, “I did it, but it doesn’t mean anything. It’s the same to train with a line of four or five men. It’s the same, but I have to choose two, sometimes one plays and later the role is for another man. In this sense it isn’t important what I do with the centre-backs during the trainings.”

The Castrofeito-born manager is aware of the doubts left by the team in recent games; he even admitted that this is a product of the doubts on his mind, “The team is a reflection of what’s passing through the coach’s mind. I have been changing a lot and you can see that there were big doubts during some moments of the games. I need to follow a lane and theoretically the team needs to win games and dominate; the team needs to assume the responsibility, so we need to start assuming that we have to dominate and create scoring opportunities. It’s our current problem, because we cannot do it having plenty of confidence. I always said that we have a problem at the Riazor. We win the games, but don’t want to end at that point, because we search the excellence.”

He also explained the reasons why Diego Ifrán was signed, “If I consider that one player will help me to win a game or score a goal then I will welcome him. We will see it, because he’s a lad that can be considered as a striker, but that can also perform on the sides, no matter is the right or the left. I will now look at him more carefully and let’s see what we can get from him. He can play as a central attacker and also as a second striker. Ifrán comes in order to help the team. I see that he has the conditions to help, so he will help the city of A Coruña in order to return to Primera División. He will help the other players in order to be better. We signed him, because we think he can help us.”

About the current state of Ibrahim Sissoko, the comment was, “Each day passing he’s closer to be a starter. He’s improving in his physical condition and the pace, so if he demonstrates a superior level, then evidently he’s closer to be a starter. He can play at both wins and even as a striker. What he’s missing is to know exactly the functions of every position.”

Later the coach was remembering the problems for the past defeat against CD Mirandés, “You end up with a bittersweet taste, because the team left a sad impression in attack, we must recognize it. It left the impression the team was unable to make a pass, the team didn’t have too many problems in defense, but we have a tactical poverty that I didn’t like. We only have two clear chances and left many doubts.”

Asked why the team has allowed goals within the last six games, the coach hinted it was because Depor have tried to be more offensive, “It seems the normal thing is to not leak any goal. It’s part of the statistics, you may remember that in the first round we were missing to have the ball possession, now it’s more balanced and sometimes we won it. And as long as you have more attacks then you end up being a more open team and the rivals seize the situation. When you defend you are locked and are more organized, so the rivals have problems, but you need goals. You need a balance. When you attack you trend to be more fragile at defense. It’s a law in football.”

Finally, Fernando Vázquez explained his calculations to get the promotion, “The situation is pretty equal at Segunda División and perhaps we won’t need to win so many matches, perhaps we can lose some more. According to my calculations we still must win seven games then get five draws and lose one more time. I believe we can do it and let’s see what happens. Riazor is the key.”

The coach of Barcelona B offered a press conference on Friday’s afternoon. His team will make the trip to A Coruña until Saturday. He’s content after the last two wins in liga, “The team is living a good moment, both in a physical and mental sense. We now need more regularity in this equal league. We must keep the same tension.”

He was describing Deportivo’s team, “Depor have a team with maturity and experience. When they aren’t dominating the games they have the needed patience to hold on at the back. We must choose properly the attacks and take advantage of our dominion.”

One of the things emphasized from this B squad is the fact they already won at big stadiums like La Romareda and Son Moix. The ex-coach of Celta was saying that his lads are always motivated to face these meetings, “We want to win in all the stadiums, but when we are playing in pitches with good conditions and with more public then our players are more motivated. We are playing well in these games, but always respecting rivals that have played at Primera División.”

Finally, Eusebio was explaining why his team lost the game of the first round, “In the first-leg Depor scored the goal at the first minute and then sought for the counterattack. We stopped these counterattacks, but missed the automatisms to solidify out attack; therefore we failed to tie the game.”



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