Squad news

OLTRA VS MARTINEZ

13 Dec 2011
Depor’s coach admitted that his priority is the promotion to Primera, though he wants to pass the round in Copa; he announced at least seven changes for the clash with Levante.

Juan Ignacio Martínez, aka JIM -his full name's initials-, is a former left-back defender that never succeeded as a player; his best achievement was to play with Alicante CF at Tercera División; he retired in 1990 at little FC Torrevieja. Better was his luck when he became a football coach in 1997

In fourteen years as a coach, he already worked with nine different clubs; on the season 2005/06 he clinched the title at Segunda B with FC Cartagena, though his team missed the promotion during the playoffs. The Valencian coach arrived to Segunda División for the campaign 2007/08 and put UD Salamanca at the 7th place at the standings, two years later he returned to FC Cartagena and again made a nice job leaving the team at the 5th place during his first year there.

During the summer he left Cartagonova in order to sign for Levante UD, his first experience at Primera, and things have been quite surprising as his team is living at the top positions, even spending two weeks as the leader in la liga. This is the fifth meeting between Martinez and José Luis Oltra; the previous four confrontations took place at Segunda, with Oltra clinching two wins, one draw and only suffering one loss. Oltra is well known in Levante as he coached the first and the second team in the past.

OLTRA
Depor’s coach gave his press conference on Monday’s morning; he started confirming that, for him, the priority is the league tournament, “The competition arrives at the right time, because we are living a good moment. Yes, it isn’t the priority, but it’s important for us and we want to bring a nice impression, because now we almost have all the players available; actually only Claudio [Morel] and Xisco are out. I don’t want to see people thinking this is a rest, but that we all are a team that wants to compete. These games are good in order to gain pace, the rival is from Primera and is an official competition, and we want to pass the round. It also allows me to make some tests.”

He confirmed seven changes at the starting team, “There are six starters during the past day that weren’t picked this time, so there you already have six changes compared to the team that faced Numancia, and if you add that I will change the keeper, then you have seven modifications. There you have a big bunch, that I will change the whole eleven starters? You will have to wait and see it tomorrow. We will change the team, but not the ideas.”

Later, he said that this isn’t a test for the normal substitutes in liga, “Nobody has to demonstrate anything to me; I know what they can offer and know that anyone at the team can play; we can end up making a good or bad game, but what I don’t want to miss is the concentration and the hard work. I don’t want to see the players thinking this is an exam, what I want is to see them gaining minutes and pace for the competition.”

About Levante, Oltra said that, “The rival isn’t the revelation anymore, but a reality; in 2011 it has been the four best team in liga, also the fourth team in the current tournament. It only lost four matches on the season, so it isn’t coincidence; it’s a solid team that will end the year at the Champions League places. They have a strong team and has a good base despite changing the coach. Our goal is to offer a nice impression and pass the round.”

The Valencian coach is convinced that Levante is the favourite side in this tie, “Well, things are hard at Segunda, and imagine now that a team at the Champions League places is arriving; for me Levante is the favourite, because it plays the second leg at home, and we will try to tight things up, I believe we can eliminate them, but it will be hard.”

“The key is to clinch a clean sheet, because the away goals count as double; it’s hard as they are the third or fourth best scorer at Primera. No matter who plays they have people with punch, a team with arguments; but our conviction is that we can pass the round.”  He added.

Also, he isn’t worried as the team is playing three games in one week, “I am not worried on the exhaustion of the players, because we have enough depth at the team to make changes, so we aren’t going to suffer on the weekend. That the Copa might distract the players? Well, I remind you that this club is used to play three competitions in one season, you did it all the time, maybe some players, and I, didn’t do it. Our real goal is la liga, but we won’t waste this chance.”

Finally, Oltra was asked of the situation of Salomão and Ayoze, “They are players of the team; in the case of Salomão he has brought depth and good things, maybe he has played less time in recent games, but is a vital player. About Ayoze, in some moments he was fine, and now is trying to regain the pace; I believe he is mature enough to know what he needs to improve.”

MARTINEZ
Levante’s coach didn’t talk with reporters before the clash in Copa; he just gave a press conference after the 1-o victory over Sevilla. During the conversation with reporters he emphasized the spirit of his team, and mainly of Iborra, the midfielder that lost a child during the past week.

“The victory was achieved due to all the energies that came together at the Ciutat de Valencia; the players got their strength of nowhere. Today’s win goes for Iborra and his family.” He said. About the Copa clash with Depor, he just confirmed that Keylor Navas, El Zhar, Rubén and Pallardó are going to be starters in the game. “Right now we have the games in Copa, to visit Granada, and then we will end our matches in 2011.” He said

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/11

ZAPPING

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