Squad news

THE GALICIAN COUPLE AT MIDFIELD

29 Dec 2011
Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez have earned the spots at Oltra’s midfield; both youngsters talked to Eugenio Cobas and Zeltia Regueiro from newspaper La Opinión A Coruña and analyzed the performance of Depor at Segunda

Q: What is the balance of the last months as Depor passed from Primera to fight for the promotion at Segunda?
Juan Dominguez: It's a totally different situation. The relegation was a hard hit for everyone, , but this year we have a renewed enthusiasm and a very different goal, which is to win every game and achieve the promotion. We’re all focused in what’s our goal, because it has changed over the last year and we have to fight and work hard for the promotion, for us and for all the fans.

Alex: This is a special year for me because is my debut at Depor. The first part of the year I lived in Tarragona and lived the relegation as a fan. The truth is it was a hard hit. We’re now at Segunda and I'm happy to play and help the team, so I can’t ask for more. We're up at the standings and are starting 2012 with the hope of achieving the goal of returning Deportivo to Primera.

Q: Are you surprised to see the starting role that you currently have at the team?
Juan Dominguez: A part of me yes, because I started with a pre-season injury and that's always a problem in order to earn a spot. Like I did like last year I worked hard until getting the opportunity. It came before Celta for the suspension of a colleague and I was lucky enough to continue playing since then.

Álex: My intention was to stay at the team. I knew this year there was a different coach, also that unfortunately we were at Segunda, but was not sure either from past experiences, I didn’t know if I was going to stay. The coach talked to me during the pre-season and trusted me, and then I started playing for some circumstances: the injury of Juan (Dominguez), the departure of Ruben Perez and Borja's injury also helped me to enter into the team. I tried to hold on to that opportunity, to do my best, with the hope of making my debut here and now I'm keeping the confidence of the coach, working at the top trying to prolong this situation as long as possible.

Q: How do you assess the progression of the team, which closes the year at the second place and in a direct promotion position?
Juan Dominguez: I think it falls within expectations, because it’s a very radical change. There are many players at the team that never performed at Segunda, they didn’t know what it was, there is a different coach, a different style of playing and all that entails an adaptation process that takes a while, reason why is not surprising to see the players not used to this, especially playing away from home. The important thing is that the errors were corrected. Now, we see ourselves up there at the standings; it’s a result of this work and this adaptation.

Álex: It was a big change in all the senses, both for the league as for the way to understand the game by the coach and us. For the history of Deportivo anyone could think that it was going to be easy to achieve the promotion, but that's impossible. You can realize that there are six or seven teams up there and that it will be like that until the end of the second round. We noticed from the beginning that it was going to be difficult, that the beginnings are always complicated and we are now in the situation that we wanted, but also knowing that there is a lot of equality and that a lot of work is still needed.

Q: Is true that with Oltra there’s more joy than in the previous stage?
Juan Dominguez: The atmosphere and people are happier and more content, but because it's different now, we try to win the major part of the games, we usually have the initiative in the matches, especially at home, and that’s something that people loves, especially comparing the goal we had last year. In the end what the public like are the victories and see the team up at the standings. So I think that the environment is better than last year, for the team's situation. The coach at the end of the day certainly has a role, but I think the viewer is happy or sad depending on the game and the position of the team.

Q: Do you live more intensely the fight for the promotion just for the fact of been promoted players from the B squad?
Álex: It’s my first year on the first team, but I think so. Everything is different, everyone around me is much more aware and talks to you all week long. In Jerez, as example, I had no such direct relationship with people there. Football was not as present on the day to day as on here, which is almost single-minded. With everyone I meet they talk of Depor and you feel a great responsibility, because people feel committed.

Juan Dominguez: I live it in a very special way for the fact of been a Deportivo’s supporter since I was a kid, for been from the area (Narón) and I think is a little different playing on the team that you've always wanted to be rather to go to a club from the outside. It isn’t the same. We are all excited to be where we are, but maybe it’s more special for the people from the house; to see yourself as a protagonist at the team where you always wanted to be since childhood.

Q: Does it draws you attention to see the commitment of the fans?
Álex: Perhaps in recent years people wasn’t used to not have a fixed objective. After years of Champions League, not having the goal to win and be up at the standings was a little bland for people. That feeling on recent games, to see things complicated, to realize that A Coruña could lose the spot at Primera, was strengthening the feeling of people towards going to the stadium and support. In that sense, if something good can be extracted from the relegation is that people realized that the city needs a Deportivo at Primera and is now demonstrating it. Therefore it’s essential to achieve the promotion on this year, and the feeling has been reinforced.

Q: If at the end you achieve the goal on this season, do you think the future can be positive despite spending a year at Segunda?
Juan Dominguez: Yeah, I think that regarding the fans the relegation was positive, because it renewed the hope of all the fans, people who was attending to the stadium began to feel committed and wasn’t going just to be there, but to encourage the team. Now at Segunda they are all united and involved in the promotion to Primera. All the fans are putting their part to make us succeed.

Álex: Especially because there are many young people who have been engaged with this movement that began during the last days of last season. Even now the fans join the team in long journeys, just to be with us.

Q: Is the best Depor yet to come?
Juan Dominguez: Yes, we must have the mindset to improve in every game and that from here to the end of the season the team could be in a higher level than we are now, always trying to do our best and get as close as we can to the optimum level. I think we have room for improvement and that's what we always try to do: to continue to grow.

Álex: Above all we have to look for consistency. Yes, we have seen a very solid Depor in some matches. We are a team that wants to be up there and also wants to have the initiative in the games, and sometimes paid the price for it, but I think our quest has to be to search for a more regular performance and extend these positive phases. It’s what we need to improve and increasingly we are doing better, knowing to mix the good performance with the fact of competing, which at the beginning we were paying, and our improvement has to go on that line. It must be a continuous improvement in terms of performance rather than in terms of game, because I think the team has its own style. It has made great games and has completed a series of good matches, but sometimes we darkened this performance with those distractions that block the continuity of the team.

Q: Depor is living a very good dynamic having added ten of the last twelve points in dispute; do you think that the Christmas break can slowdown this positive momentum?
Álex: No, it's only a week, neither is a long break nor an excessive stop. The dynamic and the inertia of the team are already caught. When we come back in a week and we will be the same players; we still know each other pretty well, we remember what we have done in recent games and I think the path of the team will be similar, so this little break won’t be determinant.

Q: January may be the key month to clinch the direct promotion spots chaining straight wins against rivals in theory affordable as Xérez, Huesca, Villarreal B and Cartagena
Juan Dominguez: Maybe, but it’s never easy to chain a series of victories, no matter who the rival is, because in this league there is no easier opponent as anyone can beat anyone . What we can say is that this is our intention. I hope to string several straight victories, to get as high as possible and seize the meetings with the bottom teams, and also by our feelings, to gain confidence and see that we have the right level to be there at the top and achieve the goal. That's the mentality. Our intention is to win every game, both at home and away.

Q: Is it less painful the farewell in Copa as the team is now focused more than ever before in the league?
Álex: It was a competition that was good for us, because almost the entire team is available and those games were good to see everyone having confidence and minutes. It wasn’t possible for the circumstances and now we must focus on the real goal, which is the league. The Copa was nice, it was a way to have matches in a few days, which is something that the player always likes, but the real goal and what we all want on this season is to return to Primera Division. That's what really matters.

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