Squad news

LOTINA "YOU NEED TO BE A GOOD SMALL TEAM AND THEN TRY TO BE A BIG ONE"

27 May 2008
Coach Miguel Angel Lotina gave the last interview of the season to newspaper La Voz de Galicia. The Basque trainer is now on vacations and is planning to attend the UEFA EURO 2008. Lotina talked about several aspects lived in the campaign and also announced his team will keep playing with the system with five defenders.

Q: The end of la liga has been a relief or a penalty for you?
A: I haven't ended stressed as in other occasions. Perhaps because the second round was good, I didn't reach the end punished nor needing a vacation.

Q: In a way, is possible to say this has been your best campaign as a coach?
A: Yes. I was coming from Real Sociedad, where despite having fallen on the past year, I can say I did a good job as a coach. So, the one here is the best, because no matter the final classification, because I had betters, there are many players who have improved a lot and I must valorise that.

Q: Is there something you think you guessed right since the beginning?
A: The fact the team had to play football. What I said, and I keep my speech, if you talk to the players only about winning, it creates an enormous pressure that's harmful. If I talk about playing football is because I intend that through this, the victory will be achieved, while the player is feeling more relaxed. And that is what I was trying to do: winning and playing well, but not only for the spectator, but to see our players not feeling the pressure of the victory.

Q: You said that to be playing well was something indispensable, but it came a time when the victories were really essential.
A: Yes.

Q: So, your previous words were only a speech.
A: No. If you play well, you will almost always win. In general, Depor played good football ...

Q: But the squad was soft at the back and also up front.
A: Perhaps, as I said, my message led us to have a beautiful team in its forms, but ineffective. The first thing you need in this game is to be a warrior, uncomfortable for the opponent and since that point, to build football. First, you need to be a good small team and then try to be a big one. Sometimes, you're wrong and you want to do the opposite. Some of this happened to us. We must be clear about what we are. But we knew how to rectify.

Q: You recognised that you failed when football was transcendent.
A: Football is very important in both areas. In the first part of the season we were good, we played nice, but inside the areas, neither we were strong in our own zone nor determinant in the opposite side. That, with the change of system, was corrected.

Q: Man, the truth is that you missed some punch up front.
A: We had six strikers and each one was different, but nobody was giving you so much as to say that it was an undisputed starter. None was marking the differences. That creates doubts and to put an attacker one day and in the next day to put another ... There was a time when I was blunt and I decided to bet for Xisco, who perhaps I saw one point above the others. That led to see the other strikers disappearing and they weren't able to prove their abilities, but ultimately, this was a benefit for us and allowed the growth of Xisco.

Q: Are the strikers better than what we saw?
A: Yes. Clearly, we didn't have a G??iza, Villa or Tamudo, one of those who make the difference.

Q: Normally, when we talk about feats is when somebody earns a title, but what Depor did this year is a prowess.
A: I appreciate so much. At the time we were five points off the salvation, with the tremendous problem inside the changing room that we faced, the situation was delicate. And we knew how to surpass that.

Q: Football tends to simplify things. Is not too simple to say the recovery was due solely to be playing with three central defenders?
A: Only a few analyse what the three central defenders have gave to us. Why rivals have had many difficulties to play against us? The teams in Spain are accustomed to play with a  4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1, but with the defence of five men, we have lost the habit. As a result of this, we created a problem for almost everyone. When we put the three central defenders, even our players thought it was to defend better, but then they saw how our rival was having problems when we had the ball. Our movements were driving them mad. But then, football is not only ball possession, but depth and perhaps we failed in this important balance between ball possession and depth.

Q: And next year, will Depor continue playing with a defence of five men?
A: Yes, we will begin as we ended, but we will work the two systems: 4-2-3-1 and 5-4-1.

Q: And if you do not have Coloccini?
A: Somebody else will come

Q: But it won't be the same if you  lose a player you described as the best central defender in la liga.
A: Overcoming Coloccini or even match him is very difficult. But we will try.

Q: What has 'Colo'?
A: A great character that makes him very competitive. It goes straight, is a close friend of his friends ...

Q: Of Mun??a, as example.
A: Yes. He defend his friends, but he does not lose its commitment to the team. And it has a high quality moving and hitting the ball. He only makes a few mistakes.

Q: If a man like this is going out, you will have to suffer.
A: Man, yes.

Q: All year talking about the youth of Depor, but at the moment of truth, who saved the things were the veterans.
A: Yes. The things were wrong and the veterans are the ones who have to face the problems in these occasions.

Q: To what extent can we speak of a solid project at Depor? because it gives the impression of being maintained with tweezers.
A: With tweezers?

Q: Yes, depending on Coloccini, a player might be leaving. Also of his coaching staff; the system of three central defenders, the goals of the defenders. It seems that if some things disappear, the team will not keep the pulse.
A: The best thing about Depor is its changing room. The absence of Coloccini would be a hard hit, but then, this changing room will certainly make another step forward

Q: What have you learned from this course?
A: That the good work, the scheduling and perseverance are not securing the success, but help to achieve this.

Q: As for its goalkeepers, the season was disastrous.
A: It was a difficult year. None of the three keepers had performances in which our opponents were saying, yo!, what a great keeper. Then, the bad moment of the team affected them and then the famous incident came to finish the thing.

Q: Time has passed, you said that you poorly managed the issue of the aggression against Aouate. Now, do you think the same?
A: No, I think we managed very well that matter. People only know a part of the story, but not all. And I do. From there, I can say that I managed very well the situation. But it's something very difficult or impossible to explain to the public. I assumed that everything that happened was a mistake of mine. I did what the changing room wanted. I stayed as the one that acted badly. Well, I don't care, the truth is that we went out of the problem and the squad knows what I did and that I didn't want to stir the shit just to improve my image.

Q: Until which point the coach must do what the squad wants?
A: The changing room has a big weight on these things. It wasn't a minor matter, it had many implications and the best thing was to resolve it with the squad.

Q: At one time of the season, I told you: Aouate wasn't stopping what he had to stop, De Guzman is everywhere but not where he should be, Lafita isn't working, Sergio is in the final straight, the strikers aren't scoring goals and Guardado doesn't mark differences. Maybe I went too far?
Q: Somehow yes. In the end, in the second round, the team, even some player, has been above its level. Filipe has been for me the great revelation of la liga, along with De La Red. De Guzman, it's true he tends to chaos, but we managed to control him, and that's when he's very good. Sergio has been heavily involved in the second round and he helped us. Lafita improved and about Guardado, he was bad with the team, he tried to carry out with the whole weight on his back. And that affected him. Guardado will make a big liga next year.

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