Competition news


21 May 2011
Tenth meeting between Lotina and Emery; Depor’s coach could be living his last game at the club and is convinced in the permanence of Deportivo, while Valencia’s trainer wants to match the mark of points of last season.

Unai Emery Etxegoien is a successful coach that showed up at the end of the past decade; he made history as his UD Almeria ended 8th at the standings with 52 points (season 2007/08), which was the second best mark for a recent promoted at the Primera División. A few months later he was signed by Valencia FC, since then he has had ups and downs. Just to mention the fact that during the present season he was constantly criticized and was at the edge of been sacked, but by the end of the season the club decided to renew him as his team clinched the third place in la liga.

Emery and Miguel Angel Lotina have met each other in nine previous occasions, and Depor’s coach was able to add his first win in the series at the start of January of 2010 thanks to the 2-1 achieved by his team in Copa Del Rey. Six of the remaining seven games were won by Emery and the other two meetings were draws.

To mention that Lotina is missing a liga victory over Valencia since the year 2002, the last one was a 1-0 win with Celta at Mestalla (October 6); since then the current coach of Depor has faced the Valencian team in fifteen opportunities, seven of those games were draws and the remaining eight matches meant a defeat for Depor, Real Sociedad, RCD Espanyol, Celta, Osasuna and Logroñés. At least Lotina was able to achieve a victory in Copa during the past season.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Friday’s morning; he talked to reporters for twelve minutes and emphasized the fact that Deportivo and its fans must be strong enough to face together tomorrow’s game. He was calmed and reminded to reporters of his previous experiences playing for important things at the last matchday of la liga.

“I have faced a lot of finals… too many I should say, and my teams have achieved twice the promotion at the last matchday, also the permanence, the UEFA spot… but I also lived the relegation at the last matchday, which I always remember [with Real Sociedad]. With Espanyol we were needing the victory in order to enter into the Champions League, but stayed in UEFA as we depended on others, in the next season we achieved the permanence at the last matchday.” He said regarding the issue.

The Basque coach wanted to thank the fans of Deportivo for their continuous support, especially in recent weeks, “We are living a very special year with the fans, we still surprised as they have been supporting us. We have been receiving all kinds of calls from every corner in Galicia. We still are needing the support of the people.”

Later, he said that the players won’t be pending on other results and that the only goal is to defeat Valencia, “We will only think of winning, it’s our only goal and won’t be thinking of other results. We must think of the victory and that’s all. We can’t be pending on the results at other games. What we must know is that whoever wins it will be saved. A couple of goals within five minutes can change everything, so I won’t talk of what I can’t control.”

He also denied that, taking in mind what’s at stake, the players will be anxious or afraid during the meeting, “Winning tomorrow is a success for the players, so they aren’t afraid. The experience is always important in these kinds of circumstances, and we are taking seriously the game. Logically, we are playing for everything, so we must notice a better attitude at our side. But the most important thing is the greatness of this club.”

“I am convinced that we can win tomorrow. The scheme in this game won’t change too much, and I don’t know if Valencia will make a lot of changes. The important thing for tomorrow is the intensity. There are games that are won in the blackboard, but these kinds of games are won on the pitch.” He added.

Then the Meñaka-born trainer praised the season made by the rival, “Valencia has clinched the third spot for the second straight year; in this league, with Barca and Real Madrid, it‘s a satisfaction to end third for the second straight year. It is a success. Besides, they have surpassed clubs like Atletico and Sevilla, clubs that spent more money than them, so I guess they are pretty content with what they have done. They already fulfilled their goals, but are coming in order to play a Primera game, which is always difficult. They also want to win.”

Finally, and asked if about his future, Lotina told to reporters that he will announce his future on next week. His contract ends in June and all appoints that he is leaving, “[He laughs] Well… let’s see… we will save the team first, then we will talk of the subject on next week; don’t worry, the suspense won’t last too long.”

Valencia’s coach gave a press conference on Friday’s morning; despite that a lot has been said about his possible renewal he was trying to stay focused on the last game in liga, “We are aware that Depor is playing for the permanence, so we are trying to plan it with a sense of respect and competitiveness.”

It has been also commented that Valencia is playing for noting as it already clinched the third spot, but Emery said that that his team still has to achieve a goal, “We are playing to match the 71 points of the past year, and for me it is important. It’s a game that you should like to play, and if you aren’t ready then you shouldn’t be on the pitch. Everybody is traveling in order to play a tough, but pretty game; nobody wants to be the judge dictating the relegation of one team.”

Then, Emery insisted that his team is going out for the win and rested importance to the rumours of possible payments coming from other clubs, “We are trying to be fair with the other teams. I just decide the list of picked players, the lineup and how we want to play. Other should decide if the payments from third parties are legal or not. We just want to win, as always, it is what we always want, and no matter who the rival is.”

Later, the Basque coach said that his intention is to stay at Valencia ahead of next season ,”My will is to keep training Valencia, I still don’t know the clauses of the new agreement, by my first goal is to stay here, but now it’s the moment to pick up the goals that we want.”

And it’s that it has been reported that the new contract with Valencia is lifting the objectives of next season as the club is not only interested in playing the Champions League, but of winning titles, and Emery shares the view, “We must give a step forward in every sense. The goals must be hopeful for the fans. That hope should also be shared by the team. To be part of the Champions League must be a hoping fact for us and we must know how to transmit it. But it will be tough, I see that the big clubs are thinking of reinforcements, and then I see that we can’t spend more money and that even we have to sell some players.”



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