Squad news

MANUEL PABLO: "LAST YEAR I WAS THE THIRD OR FOURTH OPTION"

10 Apr 2008
Sweet moment in the career of Manuel Pablo. The Canarian right-back has been a vital piece in the formations of Lotina during the present season. He talked with <i>Depor Sport</i> about his sensations on this liga campaign and also about the bad moments he lived on the previous year.

Q: With the victory over Racing (Santander), has the team made the final step to the salvation?
A: We made a very important step and besides, we defeated a team that was up there and that was in a very healthy state, we need to emphasise the seriousness we showed when we played there, we knew how to compete, it's a pleasant thing and demonstrates that we're on the right track. Anyway, we are aware that we can't be relax, because in recent games we also remember some oversights as the day of Recre or the first minutes with Valencia, matches in which we were asleep, it could be expensive to us.

Q: Is the team receiving now the benefits of its work throughout the year?
A: Yes, we're happy because now we breathe a little more freely. Recre had won on the previous day and we saw that we could end the day only one point over them, but the team went out as it has done during the second round: with confidence and trying to not leak any goal. We know that we will always have opportunities up front and we're taking advantage of this. Against Racing (Santander), we made a great job and we're very pleased about that. Although we're aware that nothing is decided yet.

Q: Depor is the second best team in the second round. What does this imply  for you?
A: We see that we're in a good line, but neither we should be entrusted just because the rivals are a bit far from us. We have to continue like this. This is a joy for everybody, us and the fans, it's satisfaction to see the job has been done well.

Q: Can the team start thinking of more ambitious goals?
A: No. We spent a long period in relegation and we had phases in which we won two or three games, we went out of there and later we got back. It's true that now we are a little away from that situation, but we've lived bad experiences and now we only think that what we need is to continue adding, to follow this dynamic and later we'll see, we can't be relax.

Q: You commented that during the bad moments, the team didn't know how to compete. What has changed?
A: Now we are defending well. Before to this, the rivals weren't creating too many occasions, but when they did it, they were creating a lot of damage. Now it's more difficult to score against us, and sometimes with less clear chances. The truth is that the team is feeling more comfortable. Still, we had games in which we were too much relaxed, but on the past Sunday, we had a good test and the team went out well, to compete, and we're seeing this situation has gave us good results during the second round, I believe we should continue with this dynamic and to not think that we're going to achieve everything without working. We must fight because we're in a very difficult situation and it's hard for us. Despite the fact we already have twenty three points in the second round, it's difficult to get all this results and we'll continue suffering. But with work, everything can be achieved.

Q: Are you now enjoying more on the pitch?
A: We all enjoy with the victories, but it's true that when we were in a difficult situation, we were having a lot of occasions and we weren't scoring the goals, and we had the pressure that as soon as they would have a chance, they would score. Now, looking at how we are playing, they barely have a chance and almost always in stationary plays. I also like to play as a winger because it gives me more opportunities to attack and in defence we are very confident.

Q: In the most complicated moments, do you feared the relegation?
A: The reality is that we were in relegation, but the entire squad was convinced that we could get out of there. It's true that we were committing too many mistakes, but we saw that we could have a lot of room for improvement, and it has been already demonstrated. We started to defend better, and later during the matches, maybe we had the luck we missed in the first round. Now we've another important meeting at home with our fans, they want to continue with this joy. We want to go forward and continue adding points, and finally escape from the sense of danger.

Q: Is the game against Athletic Bilbao a special occasion for a reunion with Caparr??s?
A: For me not. It's special to win and know that if we do it, we'll almost be out of the danger. After so much tension, is a pretty thing to know we could be released from all the tension lived during the year.

Q: In a personal sense, what 's your balance of the season?
A: Compared with last year,  it's very positive because the coach has counted with me since the beginning, I tried to do my best and I am feeling very comfortable with the football I have practised, with the idea of playing and also with the systems that we have been using. I felt important, the coach has made me feel important and it's clear there's a big difference from last year, in which I was a third or fourth option.

Q: Did you doubt about yourself?
A: No, I never doubted of myself, because I have always done the same work and it has gave me good results. What happens is that there are coaches that like some specific type of player, and others who don't. Maybe I wasn't the type of player that Caparr??s liked and that's it. But I have always believed in me, and indeed, it seemed that there was some interest from other teams. There are coaches for all the tastes and the best thing for one trainer can't be bad for another one.

Q: It seems that you don't have very good memories from the Utrera-born coach ...
A: No, I just save a normal memory. My relationship with him was normal. I didn't have the chances I wanted in a sporting sense, but when my time came, I think I took advantage of it and I showed that I could have a place in the team.

Q: The bet with Filipe still alive.
A: I had a chance the other day and the true is that I didn't try to score because I lost the control of the ball. It's true that he has had a lot of occasions, but for now he hasn't scored. I only had a few, but when my time will come... we will seem what happens (he laughs). We still have seven games and a dinner is on its way!

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