Squad news


16 Feb 2011
On Tuesday Lotina talked to reporters at the press room of Abegondo and said that he is eager to keep playing with four defenders and three pivotes, but also said that he might change the draw to a 4-4-2 as soon as Javito and Guardado are available.

With ultimatum or without it, coach Miguel Ángel Lotina passed Sunday’s test and is now willing to keep the draw with four defenders and three pivotes. That’s the main conclusion from Tuesday’s press conference at Abegondo.

 “Well, at the beginning we will continue with four defenders…we… I think that the team needs to improve some things, it’s true that Villarreal only had a few scoring opportunities, and for that reason we believe that our idea on the pitch was good, what happens is that every team as its own characteristics, but in the beginning its possible to say that we will keep playing with four defenders and three men at midfield.” He said regarding the issue.

However, the Basque coach assured that he is thinking in switching the system as soon as Javito and Guardado are available, “Well, we will wait for news; I don’t know yet the status of Javito; if we could have Guardado and Javito available then we will be playing with a 4-4-2, a different system to the present one. In this draw Guardado and Javito could perform as real wingers, but until they are available I can’t say what I will do. And I don’t have fresh news on it.”

“What I always try with the draw is to put the players that could bring more things. That’s why the draw never tells me what will happen. That’s why on the past Sunday we trained at the Riazor during the morning, because we never had trained with this new scheme, and it was raining, but the players needed it.” He added.

Asked if he thinks that Guardado will be available for Sunday’s visit to UD Almeria, the coach responded that, “He’s travelling to Barcelona and it will depend on what the doctors tell me, and also on how he feels during the week. Sincerely, I don’t know if he will be available for Sunday’s game. What we don’t want is to have risks. We will valorize the situation on Friday.”

The recent performance of Juan Rodriguez and Lopo was another of the issues analyzed by Lotina, ““I will just say that Juan Rodriguez played his best game within the last two years. He was very good on Sunday. And Lopo is like this. He has some great qualities when he is focused. When he is involved then he adds things and turns to be one of the greater central defenders in Spain.”

Asked if he feels that the team lowers its performance when it plays away from home, the coach responded saying that, “We were fine at Valencia, and don’t relate our performance to the fact of been playing outside home. Well, we had bad games at Zaragoza and Getafe, but… those specific games moved us to what happened. In football there’s no humiliation, only wins and defeats, but it’s true that Almeria has defeated us in three opportunities; it is something to have in mind. We must think of the 44 points in order to save ourselves; in that sense Sunday’s game is important.”

As he did on Sunday after the game, the Meñaka-born trainer insisted with the idea that his team needs to live extreme situations in order to offer its best effort, “The squad has very good skills, because it has solidarity and many aids on the pitch, but at times it lacks to play at the limit. We don’t have that quality and it seems that the team only reacts when there’s suffering. That’s why we are trying to change some things, like this week’s friendly, we want the players to feel that this is a long week; we need to see the players more focused. It’s not that the players need to feel pressed, but it seems that there are games in which things are more difficult for us.”

Lotina also said that the friendly match against Beijing Guoan FC will be useful in order to reaffirm the ideas with the new scheme, “The Chinese is a professional team that has made a great season in China; it will be useful for us. They are following a growing process, but this club had a problem with the sporting bets and it was finned. Now they are trying to lift up the things. A lot of Serbians are working there. There’s potential over there. They are making a pre-season on here and will be useful for us. Tomorrow, we will use all the available players; we will give the importance that it deserves. Everybody will play for forty-five minutes; not only to see people playing, but to give a step forward with the use of the schemes.”

The Basque coach also had a few words on Pepe Sand, this after a journalist asked about his status as the Argentine striker hasn’t debuted yet, “He is a goal-scorer that lives inside the area, that’s what he did everywhere he played; we didn’t have that kind of player. He will be useful for us during some specific circumstances.”

Then he was asked for Camacho after he was fired from Osasuna and replaced with Jose Luis Mendilibar, “I spoke to Mendilibar on the past week… we didn’t talk of Osasuna, we talked of other team. I will phone him tonight. He is a friend of mine. But also feel sorry for Camacho. He is experienced and knows how these things are. I also know how these things are and I wasn’t surprised for it as I was at Osasuna before. I always said that know a lot of coaches that never supported the pressure of been playing at Primera.”

Finally, Lotina confessed his weird tactic to avoid the pressure, “I don’t read the critics. I just collect the articles. I pay between 15 and 50 Euros for the articles, then I bind those press clips and end paying 500 Euros per month. So it’s a lot of money per year, but I never read them! I just collect them. And it was the same on all the teams where I was. It’s precious. The good and bad things are there. Because in ten or fifteen years I will laugh of all that. That’s why I am one of the coaches that know how to support the pressure. Only a few can do it, because I am more calmed as the situation is more complicated.”



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