Competition news


26 Sep 2010
Second confrontation between these two coaches; Lotina was explaining why he decided to concentrate the players since Saturday’s evening, while Lillo was calmed though this could be his last game as head coach of Almeria.

Juan Manuel Lillo Díez isn’t a well-known coach outside of Spain, this despite the Basque man already coached four different clubs at Primera División before joining Almeria: UD Salamanca (1995/96), Real Oviedo (1996/97), CD Tenerife (1998) and Real Zaragoza (2000), he also worked with Dorados de Sinaloa at the first division of Mexico (2005/06), and that taking in mind that he was even the youngest coach at Primera División as he debuted in la liga at the age of 29. He was also a TV commentator for the FIFA World Cup 2002.

Perhaps the reason for the anonymity is that Lillo never achieved something important in his career as a coach, just the promotion of Salamanca from Segunda B to Segunda, the Tolosa-born manager arrived to Almeria during the past season and clearly this is the most critical moment for him, because the poor results are close to cost his destitution. Actually after the last defeat at home against Levante president Alfonso García had a meeting with his board of directors and later told to reporters that he could “only guarantee the presence of the coach for the match at the Riazor” which clearly means that a new defeat will mean the destitution of Lillo. Therefore Almeria’s coach is putting his job at stake for his second meeting with Miguel Angel Lotina; to remind that the previous confrontation between these two men was last season goalless game in La Coruña.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Saturday; there were several questions related to the current situation of the team, one of them was to ask for the reason why the team was concentrated since Saturday, and the response was, "It isn’t the first time that we concentrate the team on Saturday. We aren’t doing this for the situation at the standings. The reason is because we played on Thursday and arrived here at 3 AM, and I think the best thing is to eat together and later take a nap. It's time to win, but it all depends if we are able to play well. That’s the path to victory, " Later Lotina said that Dioni and Rindarøy might be starters against Almeria, it was the only clue that he left about the composition of the starting eleven.

One of the main questions was related to the rumour appointing that the players were asking the coach for a more participative role for Valerón, something that Lotina denied, “"The players are interested in them and in the team, not on who plays or who is signed. I've never been told that someone in specific should play. During Friday’s meeting several players spoke, including Valerón, because sometimes from the stands the spectator has a different perspective. We talked about what is wrong and Valerón spoke because he wants to add. There was no demand. Valerón is a gentleman and will play when he has to play. "

Later the Basque man said that each day there are more worries at the beginning of the seasons, "In football each day there are more nerves. I remember that the year before coming here I wasn’t working and the president of a team called me for a meeting, because they lost the opening league game at home. The professionals have to learn how to live with the nerves. We must be calm and know in which world we are living. Fortunately since I'm at Depor the fans have always responded in times of difficulty."

Later the Meñaka-born manager commented the fact that this could be the last match of Lillo at Almeria, this duo to the poor results had by the rival on this start of season, "He's used to this. All coaches are. Our profession involves daily problems, therefore that is our sauce.”

Almeria’s coach gave a press conference on Friday; despite rumours appointing to his destitution if he loses at the Riazor, he was trying to remain calmness, “Clearly we haven’t started as we wanted, if not we weren’t complaining right now, but neither can we hang ourselves now. Big conclusions have been made from small things… we just have four games in liga, in other words it’s the beginning of the beginning. A lot still ahead.”

“We are preparing ourselves to win the encounter and for this reason the team has its five senses on it, as we always did. We don’t want to stay at the relegation zone and for that reason we are ready to work harder.” He added. Asked if he was playing for his life, the Basque man responded in a picturesque way that, “Aren’t we always playing for our life? Even when you are driving the car you are playing for your life, just like I do every day when I go to La Fabriquilla [small town in Almeria where Lillo lives]”

About Depor, Lillo said that, “All the teams that have faced Deportivo are having big problems to attack and score the goals. They already found the pace of the completion and are strong at defence. It is true that they are also having big problems to score the goals, but at any day they could explode, because it is a team with enough arguments to do it, but I hope it won’t be this Sunday.”

“Deportivo only has one more point than us, but it seems they are living a more comfortable situation, while ours is more uncertain. We can win on Sunday and leave the last places, but should remember that we can be back down there if we don’t chain a series of good results, which is what we all want. What we should know is that any club unable to manage the things it will have problems, and therefore it will face more danger.” He finalized.



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