Squad news


17 Apr 2011
Fourth meeting between these two coaches; Lotina was talking of a mixture between the fan’s’ support and the need of overcoming the players’ fears, while Marcelino is worried for the effectiveness of Depor in set-pieces.

During the season 2006/2007, Asturian Marcelino García Toral made an impressive job ending eighth with Recreativo de Huelva in la liga. At the time this former player of Sporting Gijón was an unknown name among the fans of the Spanish football. One season later he increased his legend putting Racing Santander for the first time in the UEFA Cup plus reaching the semifinals in Copa Del Rey for the first time in the club’s history.

For the season 2008/09, now appointed as one of the most promising coaches in Spain, he was signed by Real Zaragoza after the Aragonian club fell down to Segunda División, he signed earning a record salary of €2.4 million per season. But in the end it wasn’t a good move for him, because after suffering in the promotion road to Primera, he was fired after just fourteen matchdays in the returning campaign to the elite.

Now he is returning to Racing Santander in order to recover part of his glory; he took command of the team on February 9 after Miguel Ángel Portugal was fired due to the poor results of the team. So far he has had decent results, with four wins in his nine games with the team. There are only three previous confrontations between Miguel Ángel Lotina and Marcelino, the first two were won by the Asturian trainer, while the last one was the 3-1 win of Depor at El Sardinero during the season 2008/09.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Saturday’s morning that lasted eleven minutes; he was constantly emphasizing the importance of the meeting in the quest for the permanence, “We all need to surpass ourselves, starting with the coach and later with the players going out to the pitch. We have to complete an exercise of overcoming fear and anxiety. If later we ask for the support from the fans, but without overcoming ourselves, then it’s useless, because both factors must come together.”

Once again the Basque trainer was asking for the support from the fans, a factor that for him means the half of the victory, “These are three important points in order to get some air. We are aware that we need the support from our public, to see them filling the stadium and cheering the team, because the 50% of our winning chances depend on them.”

Asked about his plans at the starting lineup, Lotina didn’t want to give too many clues, but assured that it will be a similar formation to the one used within the last two games, “Before the kick-off you can’t reveal the scheme or the key aspects for the match. Maybe I like to talk of football, but it is foolish, in my opinion, to reveal what I am going to do. It’s like having a war and in the day before you tell the enemy if you will strike from the left, the right flank or by the air. Anyhow, we will only have a few changes; you already saw that the appeal for Laure was rejected. So, the logical thing is to see Manuel Pablo performing on his side and Morel on the other.”

A journalist insisted if he was going to play with three strikers in the starting formation –Adrian, Lassad and Xisco- and the Meñaka-born trainer tried to elude to respond, “No matter how many strikers do you put at the starting team sometimes you create less scoring opportunities. It depends more on the intention. Tomorrow the important thing is to know how to play and the attitude of the players.” Another journalist asked about Valerón, and Lotina just responded, “Valerón could play, but we will see tomorrow.”

There was a question related to Michel and his lack of participation within the last weeks, Depor’s coach commented that, “All the players are fine, also Saul, Desmarets… the problem is that not all the players can enter into the list, and for this game we are picking Pablo Álvarez for that spot, and that taking in mind that I already opened the door to Pablo two times on this season, but right now he is the better choice for it.”

Finally, Lotina was having a few words on the rival, “We will face an ordered team that only leaves a few open spaces at defense; they know what to do, so it will be a tough opponent. Clearly we will find less cracks at defense compared to the game against Mallorca, because both teams have nothing to do with each other. They are a complicate team with fast people in attack.”

Racing’s coach gave a press conference on Friday; last week he was complaining of the lack of payment for some of his players, but this week he preferred to maintain silence, “There’s not much difference compared to last week. It is a process and we must now be focused in the sporting subject. If the players won’t talk of the issue until next week then neither I will do it.”

Later he was explaining the status of Giovani dos Santos and Rosenberg, important players that are dragging physical problems and that might start on the bench, “We have doubts on how he [Giovani] will be for the game, because he still dealing with an issue on the hip, especially when he makes some specific movements. We will see his evolution within the next 48 hours. About Rosenberg, he neither is at 100%, but maybe he could give us a hand.”

About Deportivo, the Asturian coach said that he fears his game in set-pieces, “We are concern, because it is a team that often takes advantage of the opponent's errors and that usually ends the meetings with very tight scores. Any error is a minimal advantage for them. In addition, they are very powerful in the offensive strategy, so it will be an equal match. It will be won by the side committing the lesser number of errors.”

“They are a team that likes to have the ball possession, a team that alternates the direct game with secondary plays. Maybe their pace isn’t so high, but we must try to not fall into their game and to not commit errors. In that way they won’t have scoring opportunities. At the same time we must be fast with our attacks, because their withdrawal is pretty solid.” He added.

Before giving the press conference, Marcelino gave an interview to La Voz de Galicia, he admitted that he talked to Lendoiro before the Galician club decided to sign Lotina, “At that time there was a conversation but, whatever the reason was, there was no agreement and then Deportivo signed another coach, I think it was Lotina. And then I joined Racing. But after it there has never been any other possibility, because there hasn’t been any other contact.”

Finally, he was giving a further analysis on Deportivo, "It follows, sort or less, the pattern of previous seasons. Small squads are usually affected by the performance of certain players, also by the injuries that you can accumulate at some specific moments... If you don’t get into a positive streak of results, then when you are in an irregular mode, the problems are more noticeable. Depor is in a difficult situation, just like us. It is a very experienced team, which knows how to seize the offensive strategy and the errors of the rivals. It makes you pay the minimum error. Significantly, the major part of their results have been wins or losses by only one goal.”



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