Squad news

THINKING OF ATHLETIC

14 Apr 2009
Riki and Lafita are doubtful for Saturday’s game against Athletic Bilbao, while Lotina seems to be planning some changes ahead of the clash. At Athletic, Caparr??s is having problems with his duo at the centre of the defence.

On Tuesday’s morning, Deportivo started to prepare the clash against Athletic Bilbao (San Mam?s, Saturday, 20h00 CET). The novelty was that Riki, Lafita and Lopo missed the training session due to injury reasons. Riki still struggling with his ankle problem, Lafita is dragging with a possible knee sprain, while Lopo has a problem in the Soleus (knee).

The three of them are very unlike to be fit for Saturday, as the same Lotina explained to reporters at Abegondo’s press room, ?Lafita is having troubles and I do not think he will be fit for the game, the same is happening to Lopo, who so far is doubtful. Obviously, I am considering more changes, but I believe that the UEFA is the goal and we have to think about that. To be thinking about next season may force the players to unconsciously think there is no goal, but the UEFA is there. We must see people for next year, but we must be careful in that aspect.?

This means that Lotina will make changes ahead of the game against the Basques, but without reaching the point of a ?revolution’ as some journalists have suggested. For the moment all appoints that Lotina will fulfill two changes: the exit of Lopo and Lafita and the entry of Z? Castro and Pablo Alvarez, both modifications caused for injury reasons and also because both have had a poor form lately.

But Lotina didn’t want t put the weight of the game in the shoulders of Pablo ?lvarez, as he said to reporters: "He’s okay. Clearly we will watch him, because he gave us a lot, but we can’t say now that Pablo is the salvation. It's like before when people said that Valer??n should play and now everything is changing. Those of you who analyze football have to do it with more depth. It is not worthy with only fifteen minutes, hopefully he will always give us what he gave us the other day, and it will be a great benefit for everybody. The President already knows that we are interested to see him continuing."

In the rest of positions, it will be necessary to wait for the end of the week in order to know the plans of the coach. Because more changes could occur with the return of Verd??, Antonio Tom??s, Sergio and Bodipo to the starting formation. However, Lotina was making a call to the fans in order to keep believing in the squad no matter the modifications aren’t fulfilled at the end, "To the fans I would say to think the same things that I do. These are the players who have added 43 points. We have had a month and a half of more competition than the rest of teams, and if they brought us this far, we must have confidence in them."

Depor’s coach is aware that some of his players may feel distracted at this point of the season, but he still appointing that the goal of Europe is a good way to motivate his men, "In football perseverance is very important for the daily work, but also dreaming of the goals, because if not, you are missing a plus. So we have to hang on to the UEFA. And in an individual sense, the players know that the goals, an offer or a renewal, are achieved in the last matches and we have to demand from them.?

Finally, a thing that called the attention in the press conference of Lotina was his comments about some of the players that are currently loaned at other clubs, ?I have a report of what was expected of Alex. I wish he could come, he’s an asset and a saving for the club, but he also had four games and many others on the bench. Besides is not the same to play at Segunda than in Primera. My idea is to go to see him and Aythami. The main idea in the begging is to allow the return of Adri??n, because the loan has been phenomenal, and also Aythami. Somebody is leaving for him, but I don’t want to comment right now, because the main thing is to recover our identity, to play a good game at San Mam?s and get into the UEFA.?

Meanwhile, Joaqu?n Caparr??s is having his own problems at Athletic Bilbao. His team is only three points above the drop zone, and the Basques represent the third worst team in la liga in terms of goals allowed, this since The Lions have leaked 51 goals in 30 matches, only Sporting Gij??n (64) and Numancia (59) have received more. To make things worse, Caparr??s is losing his two starting central defenders for the game against Depor, this since Aitor Ocio was sent off against Osasuna while Fernando Amorebieta saw his tenth yellow card of the liga season in the same game. All appoints that youngsters Ustaritz and Etxeita will replace them. Striker Ion V?lez might also miss the game due to a thigh injury, but at least David L??pez is returning from a muscular problem.

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