Competition news


18 May 2014
Both coaches are aware of the importance of the game, but prefer to emphasize other things. Vázquez denies that his team is lacking attitude, while Garitano is convinced that Eibar won’t be afraid of the Riazor.

After the exit of Pablo Villa from Córdoba CF, Gaizka Garitano Aguirre is the third youngest coach in the league (38), just behind Murcia’s Julio Velázquez (32) and Las Palmas’ Sergio Lobera (38). He’s the nephew of Ander Garitano, a well-known former player of Athletic Bilbao. He tried to follow his footsteps and played at the academy of the Basque club, though without any luck as he never reached the first team, at least playing in liga, because he had the chance to perform in the UEFA Cup.

He spent his playing career performing at five clubs, including Galician CD Ourense, and only reached some success at Real Sociedad. After his retirement in 2009 he signed as the assistant coach of SD Eibar; last season Garitano was named as the head coach of the Basque club and had a direct impact in the results, because the team clinched the promotion to Segunda A.

It was a big success for them after spending four years at Segunda B. Now his team is the main surprise at Liga Adelante 2013/14 as Los Armeros are really close to clinch the promotion to Primera, so Garitano could be the first coach that takes a team from Segunda B to Primera since Fabri González (2011, Granada CF); this is his second official meeting before Fernando Vázquez after the 2-1 win of the first round.

Depor’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s morning; he was in a good mood and talked with reporters in a long press conference that lasted 17 minutes. He started resting importance to the case with Luis Fernández, “Nothing special, I mean the papers emphasized a situation that’s normal and habitual. It isn’t the first time I do it on this year. What happens is that it was amplified. I don’t know the reason why. Any coach can tell to a player to rest or to not train.”

“The lad wasn’t acting in the right way and I decided that he should stop, and nothing more. It was a decision that was already forgotten the day after. Sometimes I ask a player if he feels right to train and later he stays inside. Nothing happens and this was a similar scenario. The lad wasn’t’ right; I saw that he wasn’t training at the same level of the squad and I preferred to see him leaving, but from the point of view of the coach the situation ended at that point. Luis should be content with the season that he has done; after all he’s coming out from the B squad and is young. He has played more than 1,000 minutes with the leader at Segunda División; therefore he should be satisfied, though I understand that every player has his own goals. From my point of view the year of Luis has been quite positive.” He added regarding the issue.

Then he denied any problem with the confidence after the team wasn’t’ able to win any of the last three games, “I think the team is impressive and is fine; there’s concentration and intensity, clearly the last results weren’t what we expected, but I’m content. It’s a complicate situation, I warned before the problems you can face when you are about to close a situation, you end tenser and more nervous. It’s like that, especially when you have an advantage. It’s happening to us and is happening at Primera División with three teams fighting for la liga. It seems incomprehensible, but football isn’t only physical condition and tactics, but also a mental condition, and it’s complicate to judge these factors. But the team is fine and I think we will end the season enjoying the success.”

The Galician tactician said that he was happy with the performance of the team within the last two games, “I am content with the game we made in Vitoria. We made a solid first half, the idea of the team is always to go out for the win, but I cannot control the players from the bench as they were puppets. But I was content with how the team played in Lugo and Vitoria, and now I expect to see the team getting the result on next Sunday, knowing that it isn’t easy. I believe that in June any fan of Depor would have signed to have a five-point lead over the third place with only four games remaining. There are no negative issues as we are living an enviable situation to clinch the promotion.”

Beyond been obsessed with the victory, Vázquez believes that the important thing is to not lose, “If you think in a mathematical sense, yes; maybe you will think this is foolish, but the draw is also useful. We aren’t idiots; we are going to play the game trying to defeat Eibar, but evidently at some point of the game if we have to make a decision then we should be intelligent and think of this situation. Sometimes things aren’t possible. What we cannot do is to lose. We will try to win, but also need to have in mind the accounts and at some point we could be satisfied with the draw, though clearly we will try to win this game.”

He gave the impression of not been eager to switch the 4-2-3-1 figure used during the major part of the season, “I think a lot of this. I think one thing on Monday, then another one on Tuesday and on Wednesday I’m thinking in a very different way. It’s clear that I haven’t repeated the team in many opportunities, but in the end the structure of the team is already fixed and I cannot end up making an entire revolution. It’s something clear. We can end up playing with this or other system, with always repeating things.”

Depor’s coach also admitted that Luisinho has been asking to perform as a left-back, this after a question on the possibility of seeing the Portuguese player delaying his position on the pitch, “It’s something I have been thinking throughout the year. It’s the place where he feels comfortable and where he really wants to play. But until now I haven’t been able to satisfy him. In the end he will play where he can be more useful to the team. He’s used to perform on the wing and this week we trained some different things and we have to wait.”

For him Deportivo is arriving to the last part of the tournament in a good moment, “The team is well prepared and will be ready to face the end of the season. We’ve to watch how the team is training: the team is intense and highly focused. The team is fine. There are no problems.” He also confirmed that there are no injury concerns ahead of Sunday, “Everybody is available for Sunday and I will have to rule out three players.”

The Castrofeito-born coach understands the criticism for his decisions made within the last games, “If I wouldn’t be making decisions then clearly I wouldn’t be criticized. The possible conclusion is that the team wasn’t’ able to achieve the result. There’s the risk to be criticized when you change the team. I always consider that this is my responsibility. For me it would be more comfortable to continue in the same way, but either is positive or negative, when I have to change the structure of the team, then evidently it’s the responsibility of the coach.”

About the rival, SD Eibar, the comment was, “You only have to look to the results of this team to understand that’s a difficult rival to beat. Clearly it’s a team that only allows a few goals and that, at some moments, has goalless games and therefore the difficulty is there. I don’t feel like the favourite, but we play at home and I understand that have enough squad to defeat Eibar. However, you need to play first and then to win the game. This team has made a sensational season and it isn’t the first time that Eibar makes a season like this, because in 2005 they also made an incredible season. They are making an extraordinary and surprising year.”

He was questioned about last weekend’s comments by president Tino Fernández regarding a lack of attitude by the players, and the coach denied this idea, “I already said that, at some point, I felt that the team changed due to reasons that I don’t know. I respect the opinions of our fans and I work for them. If I have to say something to the president then I do it personally, what I can say is that you can be tempted to think that the team is lacking something, and you can end up content when you find a reason. The true is that there are multiple reasons, it isn’t just that the team needs to run more, it’s more complex than that.”

“What I can tell you is that the team isn’t lacking attitude, because what thing is prettier than the promotion to Primera División? Another thing is that you are valued in 100 and end giving back 50. It happens in the competitive world. Sometimes the performance isn’t a reflection of what you really worth. Is it because they don’t want it? No. Lacking attitude means that you don’t want something, and it isn’t like that. It isn’t something done consciously. They want the promotion and are tense and nervous. Since the first day in June they are thinking about it and won’t resign now. The team hasn’t surrendered yet. It is willing to offer the promotion to Primera División to the fans. There’s no doubt about it.” He added.

Finally, Fernando Vázquez is convinced that the recent problems to renew the contract of Juan Dominguez aren’t going to affect the player’s performance, “No. Juan Dominguez has one more year of contract. It’s very important to direct properly the career of a footballer. I don’t know his agent, but know Juan Dominguez. He’s a deportivista from the heart; not even he knows the future and all I can tell you is that he’s under contract ahead of next season. We will see what can happen. He’s focused and was incredible during this week’s trainings.”

Eibar’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s morning; he was explaining the motivation of his team ahead of the meeting, “When you are a player you like to perform in these kinds of games. You cannot have fear; only a few months ago we were playing at Peña Sport or at Noja and what the players want is to perform in these kinds of stadiums, with people from Primera División and with a full stadium. When you are small you want to play these games, therefore we cannot have fear.”

The Basque man was saying that Deportivo have demonstrated to be the best team in the league, “They have demonstrated to be the best team and we are the second best. It is what the standings say. And after several months in the competition the standings cannot fool anyone, another thing is what can happen in three weeks, but until now they are the best team in the league.”

He said that it wouldn’t be a surprise if the game ends having a lot of goals, “It’s hard to guess how the game will be. They will try to practice their football and so we will. Both teams are characterized for their strong defense, but it can end up to be a game with a lot of goals.”

Garitano was explaining the situation of right-back Eneko Bóveda, who wasn’t picked for the game, and also warned of the yellow cards at his team, “He didn’t train at the top during the week and it was illogical to pick him as we need everyone at the top for the game. Both centre-backs have four yellow cards and we need everyone available for the last three games.”

Before the press conference, Eibar’s trainer told during an interview to the LFP website that he’s convinced that Depor are going to clinch the promotion, “It’s difficult to close the tournament, especially for us. I think Depor will get the promotion... for everything: the squad, fans, because it’s a team from Primera. It's no surprise to see them at the top, but in our case it is logical to have problems in order to carry out with these big games. We don’t have that experience of being up at Segunda and logically it is hard.”

He didn’t want to describe the match as a final, though it could be decisive in the race for the championship, “If we win then we will be the first place, and if they win then they will stay at the top. Yes, we are playing for a lot of stuff, but until the end of season we won’t see who ends first, who will end second, who end third… we could even end surpassed by other team. We don’t know what could happen.”

The third youngest coach in the league doesn’t want to hear the word Primera, at least for now, “No, no, no. for the moment we are at Segunda and with both feet on the ground. There are stronger teams than us and the logic says that they should end above us, but until today things aren’t like this and our highest hope is to hold the position that we currently have.”

Finally, Garitano said that he isn’t afraid of the Riazor, “Surely we aren’t used to see too much public in our games, though we played in Copa at San Mamés, but this team won’t have any problem. It knows to grow up in circumstances like this one. What we want is to have a high attendance at the Riazor, because for us it’s a reward to play in a stadium like this one, a field from Primera División. The larger the public, the better.”



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