Squad news

PRE-DERBY TALKING

11 Nov 2011
Colorful declarations of Celta’s Iago Aspas, Jonathan Pereira, and former player Djalminha have created polemic before the Galician derby; the rest have been prudent speeches at both sides.

Normally the media follows with attention all the declarations made before a derby is played; always accentuating the controversial speeches in order to create polemic; president Augusto César Lendoiro is pretty aware of all this and since last week he ordered to the players to avoid cross interviews with Celta’s players. They are free to talk with the radios and newspapers, but only if they do it one-on-one with reporters.

But the journalists didn’t have to wait too long in order to find the first controversies; and it was coming from Vigo. On Tuesday, just hours before Depor ended its scoreless game at Real Murcia, Sportpaper AS presented an interview with Celta’s winger Iago Aspas, and among the things he said was that he hates Deportivo, “I consider myself a good Celtista and therefore an Antideportivista. I would never be happy for the victory of the eternal rival. I am Celtista until death and my opinion is clear: according to history Celta is the best team of Galicia.”

The Pontevedra-born player was even hailing an aggression on Tristán committed in a past derby match, “I remember when we lost 0-3 at Balaídos [2002]; Vagner kicked Diego Tristán and he was applauded when he left the pitch , even more if he would have won the game. I applauded, sure. I was ten and remember that I was at the Tribuna sector watching the game, the true is that I celebrated, because it was a provocation of Tristán.”

The declarations were considered as offensive, even in Vigo, and Celta banned Aspas to talk to reporters until the end of the derby, this in order to avoid more controversy. However, more polemic came from an unexpected source: former Celta’s striker Jonathan Pereira, who was a former player of Celta’s youth teams and that’s now at Real Betis, on Wednesday he wrote on his Twitter account that, “I share the opinion of my friend Iago Aspas!!!!” Off course it revived the fire and the controversy spread to the social networks.

Meanwhile, in La Coruña, things have been calmed, sort or less, the only player that answered to the polemic was Riki, who on Thursday told to Radio Marca that, "I tell you the truth, I didn't even know this boy until this year; I guess there are smarter people in Vigo to explain him of the subject; it’s just a thing that doesn’t concern us. We must respect the rival anyway, they have clinched four straight wins and are there. “

Another polemic story came with ex-Depor playmaker Djalminha, who was interviewed at Radio Cadena Ser, what he said was that he didn’t repent on his slap upside Mostovoi's head during the derby of 1999: "I have no regrets. It was so beautiful ...How am I going to regret it! They could be tranquil right now, because Djalminha won’t be there now laughing]” He said

About the rest, it is pretty quiet for been a derby match; there are some players trying to rest importance to the event, like Celta’s Borja Oubiña, “Off course I sign now to lose both derbies and later achieve the promotion to Primera, though both goals aren’t incompatible. For any Celta’s player the main thing is to achieve the promotion, and then to win a derby, but off course we can achieve both things.”

Similar was the strategy of Depor’s Daniel Aranzubia, who said that, “It’s a pretty game that everybody want to play and that practically started to be played since the relegation of Depor. People were pending of the calendar and I believe that all the players want to bring a victory to the fans, but, if we win, we only get three points, right?”

In the other hand, other players were saying that this is the most important match on the year, but always with a respectful tone, like the case of Celta’s goalie Yoel Rodriguez, “This is the most important match of the year for the Celtismo; we, the youngsters, are working hard since kids in order to play this game. We’re willing to play as it will be pretty special; it’s the game of the year. “

“Depor is a great team, they have experienced and quality players, but if we are fine and do our game then we can win. We must put pressure and be a solid team at the back zone. When you are having minutes then is easy to grow up as a player and feel safer, because you earn confidence. The merit of the victory is of the whole team.” He added.

Depor’s winger Saul Fernandez is also aware of the importance of the derby, “Surely it’s a big game, but the main thing is to add the three points and reach the mark of 23 for next week. We’ve matches against more complicated rivals and the team needs to improve. We are aware that it’s a special match for the fans; we know how the game will be and don’t need much more motivation, because the support of the fans will be noticed. We will win and approach to the first places, which is what interest us.”

The Asturian also said that he see himself as a starter in the game, “I think I will be a starter, but neither means something, because the coach hasn’t told me if I’ll play; I hope to play. Within the last games I thought I was going to play, and it didn’t happen, so I’ll wait for the coach’s decision. If I’m a starter, let’s hope it will happen, because I am willing to start and live a game like this. If not, I’ll try to help from the bench and then have some minutes.”

Meanwhile, Juan Carlos Valerón isn’t sure if Depor should be considered as the favourite as its playing at home, “I am not sure; I only see that both teams, more or less, are following a good line of results and are at the top positions. The word favourite is a term that I don’t like to use, but truly the environment at home is always positive and should help us a little more.”

El Flaco will be the most experienced player on the pitch, and he also commented that, “We have spent a few years without playing the derby and that’s why there’s so much passion. Everybody is pending on this match. It’s conditioned by the fact that some years have passed without having a derby. The expectations are high, and surely we’ll have a nice environment. We’ll only try to do what we always try to do, which is to give our best, to make a good game, always conscious that for our people a victory will be pretty. We won’t achieve the promotion on Sunday, but know that the important thing is to win.”

THE COACHES
Both coaches already gave interviews; as always José Luis Oltra is hermetic about the possibility of making changes at the lineup, “I’m always open to make modifications that could help the team. There’s the possibility that I could change something, though it could be to only replace a player with another one. I hope to make the right call, which is the important thing. I’ve an idea of what want; I just want to confirm it during the week; I need to see which players are available, also how we will practice our football and the strategy.”

Asked if Bruno Gama has options of been a starter; he said that, “He [Bruno Gama] is ready to be a starter; he was already prepared for Murcia; there he had some minutes and it’s an option, but isn’t the only one as we also have Saul, and let’s see if we can also count with Pablo Álvarez.” He even didn’t discard the presence of Borja Fernandez at the starting team, “It’s one of the options; if he enters into the list of picked player it will be because he has options. I want to see him during the week, if he’s fine, he’s a strong kid. It’s too soon to answer the question.”

Oltra also said that Deportivo has an advantage as it’s playing at home, but didn’t want to assume the role of favourite in the match “It’s always better, because you know the fans are at your side, and especially in a game like this, but in games like this I don’t’ think there are favourites. Neither is good to see me talking of this, because later the debate starts. Some people will say that we’re the favourites, for been playing at home, and other because we are Depor; other will say that they’re the favourites due to their positive streak. Everything is respectable.”

Meanwhile, the coach of Celta, Paco Herrera, was also prudent with his declarations; he’s aware that Celta is arriving living a positive streak, but neither means something for the game, “It might be our best moment, but it’s just anecdotal, we must assume it like that. It isn’t because we won four straight games, this kinds of things, sometimes, are a double-edge sword, because it can create relaxation.”

Herrera isn’t worried for the fact of been facing a match in a full stadium, “This teams learns quickly of all its experiences. This is a new one, surely it is, and we’ll face a new intensity. But I insist that this team knows how to learn; it lived something similar on the past year within the last matchdays and already learned enough. In any case, my work to so see Celta been like Celta, and that’s our job on this week.”

However, he admitted that Deportivo has more support than Celta, “They are currently winning 1-0 because their group of fans is the double compared to ours. The fight of everyday is to win with our victories this battle that we have lost and to drag more people to the stadium. It is us, the players, the coaches, who have to hook up more people, because for now they are winning 1-0. Thank God this fact doesn’t add points.”

Finally, the coach was denying any special mark over Valerón during the match, “We won’t do it, but will have to valorize all the small details of our team, mainly about our position on the pitch, always playing with our ideas, which won’t change. Possibly there will be small changes, details that I must recognize for this match. Those small details to be, I don’t know if a more reliable team, but a team knowing where to put all the pauses during the game.”

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/11

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