Squad news


27 Oct 2012
Third Galician derby for these two coaches; neither of them believes there’s a favourite for the game to be played at Balaídos. At the same time both men avoid to talk of possible changes at the lineup.

Francisco ´Paco’ Herrera Lorenzo is a Catalan trainer with a large experience at Segunda División: and he’s also the oldest coach in the league (58). However his experience at Primera División is reduced to only twelve matches, plus the eight disputed on this campaign. He already worked for nine different clubs. As a way of comparison, José Luis Oltra has lesser matches at Segunda, but already completed 68 at Liga BBVA and been much younger (43).

But Herrera has international experience as in the summer of 2004 he joined his compatriot Rafael Benítez at the coaching staff of Liverpool FC, working as both assistant manager and chief scout, this  during two seasons. During his stage at Anfield Road the Reds conquered the UEFA Champions League 2004/05 and the Intercontinental Cup 2005/06.

He was hired as the coach of RC Celta ahead of the season 2010/11 and was hardly criticized as the team fell down in the second round of the Segunda tournament to end missing the promotion; however he stayed in the job and commanded the return of Celta to Primera after five years of exile. This is the fourth confrontation of Herrera against Oltra; the first meeting took place on the Segunda season 2008/09 as Herrera’s Castellon defeated Oltra’s Tenerife (2-1) during the last matchday of that season, the next two games were won by Oltra as his Deportivo won last season’s Galician derbies (2-1 at the Riazor and 3-2 at Balaídos). To mention that this is the official game number 100 for Herrera at Celta.

Depor’s trainer gave his press conference on Thursday’s noon; he was in a good mood and talked with journalists for 27 minutes. He starting saying that it will be difficult to win three derbies in a row, “This game brings me back a lot of memories, but unfortunately you can’t live of memories. Theirs is no past and neither future, just present. Evidently this game is different to the games of the past season, because last year it was a confrontation between the best two teams in the league, in the end both teams clinched the promotion, now the goals are different for both clubs; besides the circumstances are different.”

“I believe this was a big game at Segunda, I lived it, and now I think it’s bigger at Primera. Last year we said that four years have passed without a derby and people was wishing for a derby, now people are wishing to watch a derby at Primera. What I wish is to see my team; we’re coming after some negative results and this is the first opportunity to break this negative streak. We know the derby isn’t only a match, it’s beyond the three points, and it’s an opportunity for us in order to improve and compete. Balaídos is a complicate stadium; they’re strong at home, perhaps only below Real Madrid and Barcelona.” He added.

The Valencian man isn’t worried as Depor’s team is dragging four straight losses, “This is just matchday 09, but we need to fix the errors. You can win the derby, but if you later don’t give continuity to it then it will be worthless. It isn’t a matter of giving everything in one single game. You won’t miss to clinch the goal for losing a derby, this is just matchday 09 and must keep competing; it isn’t essential at this height of the competition.”

Then the ex-Almeria coach affirmed there is no favourite for this clash, “In any derby there isn’t a favourite team, because there are no streaks, standings and neither the mood of the players, just the game. It’s something apart from the rest. I want to see the team trying to win and giving that step forward. Last year we arrived in a worst position to the first derby. Perhaps the local team is slightly favourite for having more people at the stadium, but in these days it isn’t so significant. Celta is in a better position, but it doesn’t mean it’s the favourite team.”

Once again Depor’s tactician didn’t want to reveal any hint related to the lineup, “You already know I want to see the players keeping the tension. We have the casualty of Abel… all the casualties are traumatic, but it shouldn’t affect the tactic, performance and behavior of the players. Abel had played everything until now, but we should face it. We will just try to put the best. André [Santos] is an option. It could be him, or Juan [Dominguez] or Jesús [Vázquez].”

Then he talked of Paco Herrera, “I can’t say we are friends, but there’s a solid relationship with him. He has a better relation with a person close to me, but in the end the coaches aren’t playing. You can end up making a bad substitution, but it depend on the circumstances and in how you read the games. There are a lot of circumstances and the protagonists are the players.”

Oltra also said that he didn’t know what to expect from the game and neither from the possible reaction of the loser side, “Last year both derbies were pretty, but don’t know what could happen now. Last year Celta lost both derbies, but went’ out reinforced of both, the one played at the Riazor and at Balaídos. They have the same coach and also most of the same squad. Who will win? I don’t know. There are games where you don’t have the ball possession, but you are controlling the things as the rival isn’t hammering you.”

He denied that the team needs a special motivation for been facing Celta, “Every week is special, this one because it’s a derby, the last one because it was Barcelona, the next one because you play at home and are at need. There’s always a point where you need to insist. You try to see the players having intensity, keeping a balance between not been a soulless team and neither an overexcited squad. You need to spread the right message, so the players hear and apply the lesson.”

Then the Catarroja-born trainer denied any special mark over Iago Aspas, “If we didn't put a special mark on Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, the best players in la liga, neither will we do it now with Iago Aspas, who is also good. Evidently Aspas is determinant at his team, but you must understand that Celta isn’t Aspas. They have pretty good players, Bermejo, Krohn-Dehli… I will say that all of them Tunez, Cabral… it isn’t a team where only have to focus in one single player. There won’t be any special watch over him."

He insisted that Depor is fine despite losing the four last games, “For me the team transmits tranquility and confidence. We’re fine. I see the players training all week long and don’t notice any problem in particular. Everybody is working at the top.”

Neither he thinks that the defense is having a negative performance on the season, “Let’s see; it’s a subject of which you can talk a lot. Of the 19 goals that were allowed, ten were netted by Barca and Real Madrid. Then Valencia and Sevilla scored five. Those four clubs have enough skills to do so. In the end these four teams have scored 15 of the 19 goals you have allowed. The team hasn’t found the balance that we want, but the real analysis must be made after matchday 38, for now it is just partial. The final note will be shown in June. “

“Everything should be analyzed until the end, but this stat is just partial. We’ve also scored a lot of goals, but I’m also concern that we could need more punch, more arrival, but it seems that you only like to emphasize the negative things. Perfect. I am concern, but I am not losing sleep over that, because the final analysis must be made at the end.” He added regarding the issue.

Finally, Oltra was once again emphasizing that this is a different game compared to the rest, “Both teams can’t win the derby, at least in the scoresheet, because I believe that last year both teams went out as winners. They for the game displayed, we for the result and the performance. But this is another derby, it is at Primera, we will try to win it. Last year the derbies were pretty, but it doesn’t mean it will be the same now. Usually the derbies aren’t pretty. I don’t know. The fans don’t want to see spectacle, they want to win.”

Celta’s coach gave his press conference on Friday’s morning; he said that there is no favourite team for the derby, “I believe we are 50-50, there is no favourite, there aren’t favourite teams in a derby no matter one team can be at the top and the other at the bottom. To see this 50% turning to one side or the other it depends on many factors. We are all with the swords up waiting to see who the best is.”

Later he was praising the level of Deportivo, “I like their team. It seems they ‘re playing well and just had back luck in some punctual moments; they look like a Primera team for the players they have; you look at their defense, the keeper too, and all of the them have played at the elite and having a great performance; besides they look pretty good up front.”

“They have a lot of danger up front. Riki is always dangerous and can harm any team, but it’s the same with the whole attacking line, because Pizzi is an extraordinary player. The same goes for Bruno Gama. Valerón too; I believe their attacking line is pretty important and we must be alert with them.” He added.

The Catalan trainer didn’t want to confirm if he’s preparing novelties at the starting formation, “It would be a few, according to my tradition we make changes at the moment of analyzing the rival; perhaps I could be making a change compared to the last game, perhaps I won’t do it.” What he confirmed is that Javi Varas will be the starting goalkeeper against Deportivo, “We are returning to normal mode: Javi Varas will play.” He said.

He also assured that his intention is to keep seeing Celta practicing an offensive game, “It wasn’t possible on the last week, because the rival didn’t let us. We are going out with our idea of football, attacking when we must do it and defending before a solid attack, because Deportivo have an important attacking line.”

Finally, Herrera was commenting the fact that this is his game number 100 at Celta, “The mark isn’t worrying me, but it indicates that I’ve spent two years on here and this mark isn’t easy to achieve. It encourages me to continue and double the number trying to reach the 200 matches, but the first thing is to clinch the goal of the club, and to avoid thinking of personal marks.”



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