Squad news

LOTINA VS. KOEMAN

07 Mar 2008
It's the first confrontation between this two trainers, their clubs aren't living the best season in their history, but they still want the three points. Koeman thinks that Valencia must start to react now after losing five of the last six points in la liga. Meanwhile, Lotina is suggesting that Deportivo will try to achieve the victory and dedicate the three points to the fans.

After his successful career as a player in clubs like FC Groningen, Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven, FC Barcelona and Feyenoord Rotterdam, Ronald Koeman decided to test himself as a professional trainer. He started at Vitesse Arnhem and later he worked with Ajax between the years 2001 and 2005, then he became the coach of Benfica and PSV Eindhoven. And he lived a positive start since he won the Eredivisie with two different clubs (PSV and Ajax), something that only Leo Beenhakker has done before.

And on 31st October 2007, Koeman announced his signing for Valencia FC as the replacement of Quique S�nchez Flores. But so far it hasn't been a positive move for him, he had a direct confrontation with  Santiago Ca�izares, David Albelda and Miguel �ngel Angulo, influent players in the squad. The fight caused a division in the group and the teams started to fell down in la liga. As result, Koeman has lost 7 of the 15 matches that he has spent at Valencia. The Dutch has only conquered three wins in liga with the squad: 3-0 Vs. Murcia, 2-0 Vs. Valladolid and 3-0 Vs. Betis. This is the first confrontation between Lotina and Koeman.

LOTINA
Deportivo's coach talked at Abegondo's press room before the journey to Valencia, firstly he warned his squad will search the three points for its fans and not for the fact of hurting a rival that's considered as one of the most important ones by the fans "They are living a very special season, it surely isn't the right environment for any team, but we have to search for our own motives for the victory, we could say that our motive is to take advantage of their current situation. But we must achieve the win for us and our fans, and not for been thinking in damaging the rival."

The journalists were curious about the reason why he was picking 19 players for the trip to Mestalla, the response of the Basque coach was: "I have three players that didn't train properly during the week, Lafita, Sergio and De Guzm�n, I want to see what are their conditions. They trained during the last two sessions and they seem fine, but I don't want doubts, I want people at 100%."

Later Lotina confessed that his idea is to play with Sergio, De Guzm�n and Lafita in the starting formation "The idea is to put this three players in the starting line-up. About Sergio, yes, he's coming back. I am content with Antonio (Tom�s), but for the characteristics of the game, I have chosen Sergio."

Depor's coach also explained why Verd� was left out of the list "It's a technical decision, a lot of people talks, but I have to take decisions, evidently some players won't agree with me, but I have to choose, the worst part for any coach is to choose." Finally, Lotina praised the level of Wilhelmsson "He's the kind of player that knows what to do with the ball, it's like Guardado, technically they are very smart, a real football player, very intelligent."

KOEMAN
The Zaandam-born coach said during a press conference that took place on Friday that Valencia's players need to react now "For some reason, we have this poor numbers and this is the right moment to react. I can't complain because we have improved in a football level during the last games. We deserved much more from recent games, but because of some refereeing decisions and other things we have four or five points less. If not, the situation would be very different."

About Deportivo, Koeman appointed that he expects a tough rival at the Mestalla "Since they changed into a system with five defenders, they are gaining points and these sort of teams always make it hard for us to win, reason why we'll have to be more practical and more direct up front. Because in the attacking zone, we had been trying to make pretty the things instead of searching the practical solutions."

About Jordi Alba, the youngster that was called for the first time to the first squad, the Dutch trainer explained the reasons why he took the decision "He's a player that I have seen in several matches and I like him. In addition, Vicente has some annoyances, and Jordi can replace him because he has talent and I like to show faith in home-grown players with a future ahead of them." He also assured that Miguel is "fit to play" a fact that should be taken as a confirmation of his presence in Sunday's game.

But what called the attention of the papers were Koeman's words related to next Wednesday's game against Barcelona (second-leg in the copa semi-finals), a competition that represents the only title that his team can win on the present season. Koeman said that Barcelona is exaggerating the things by been complaining about the absence of Messi for this game "Messi is a great player, but to be crying as they do, in a club like Barcelona, is too much, Because they have more players." Messi suffered a injury during the clash with Celtic for the Champions League and he'll be out of action for the next six weeks.

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