Squad news


22 Mar 2015
Depor’s coach doesn’t see the game as a final, while he’s optimistic as he believes that his team is better prepared compared to the first round game. Espanyol’s coach is excited for returning to the Riazor.

Sergio González Soriano is a very well-known face for Deportivo’s supporters. In 2001 the former midfielder arrived to Depor from RCD Espanyol and cost €18 million, the highest price paid by Depor for a single player (the club paid the same amount in the signing of Diego Tristán in 2000).

And the Catalan man made history at the Deportivo during his nine years at the club, he won two titles and scored a goal in the Centenariazo final against Real Madrid. In the end he made 294 appearances at Primera wearing the Blanquiazul shirt, the fifth highest number in the history of the club only behind Fran, Mauro Silva, Manuel Pablo and Donato.

After his stage at Depor, Sergio played for Levante UD and retired in 2011, then he was the coach of Espanyol B in two different stages and during the summer was named as the coach of the first team replacing Javier Aguirre. There were little hopes due to his inexperience, but has surprised the fans putting the team closer to Europe and reaching the semifinals in Copa. It is rumored that he will sign a contract extension if Espanyol end among the first fourteen places in liga. This is his second meeting against Víctor Fernández after the goalless draw of the first round.

Depor’s coach addressed the media on Saturday’s noon, he talked to reporters for sixteen minutes. He started commenting the team for the game as there were a lot of novelties in the roster, “It’s something that’s going to be repeated in coming weeks. I mean that there are 24 field players plus 3 goalkeepers, so we are 27 and need to leave 9 out of the roster. In this opportunity it influenced the long-term injuries of Wilk and Hélder Postiga. The idea is to get balance on the bench ahead of the possible problems that we might face on the pitch.”

“We have recovered Toché after his muscle injury, while Salomão has spent six trainings working without problems, so I believe all of them deserve to be in the roster, but unfortunately we can only have the ones that are on the list, they are the chosen ones.” He added.

Asked about Salomão and Toché, the Aragonian coach explained why they were picked for the game, “They had enthusiasm in order to hurry their recovery. Toché was a matter of time, there are no negative signals and later the entry of Salomão could have a revitalizing effect to him. Definitely we cannot forget that he has spent one year without playing and one year it’s a long time. Let’s hope he can bring things if we need him. Let’s see if he can be a revulsive if he goes out, the idea is to seize his qualities as he can open the game.”

He also commented that status of Fariña, who is expected to be a starter, “I see him much better. Fariña needed to adjust himself in the physical sense. He had a lot of physical problems that reduced his football, but has been preparing well within the last ten days. I would love to see him better, but he’s much better than one week ago. If he plays tomorrow he will do it in one of the two positons where he has performed on this season. Either at the centre towards the left or on the left wing towards the centre. Those two positions are not negotiable for this player.”

But he didn’t want to explain the reasons why Isaac Cuenca was left out despite been physical fit, “The important thing is the players in. I believe the game is too important to be thinking of the ones that aren’t here. The ones carrying with the game are the eighteen men that will play. They are the most important thing. “

Víctor never gives hints of the possible line-up, but this time he did it as he explained what he will have on the bench, “On the bench there will be two defenders, one centre midfielder, one centre forward plus one winger. We have solutions for any problem that we could face.”

The ex-Zaragoza coach was asked about the absence of Sergio Garcia at RCD Espanyol, who was his player during his stage with los Maños, “He’s a spectacular player, someone that can break the balance, rogue, incisive and a great finisher. I appreciate him as a person and as a footballer. I coached him and reached the national them under my command. He’s a decisive player for them that even conditions the system. There’s a system with Sergio García and another without Sergio García. Anyhow Espanyol have a great squad.”

He’s confident talking of the current level of his team, “Each matchday there’s something clear: the last seven teams face a lot of difficulties in order to win. There’s no exception. Everybody face a negative streak, because in other case we will be at the top. Depor are not out of this situation, but be are eager and have the capacity to move forward. I believe we are offering enough football to reach good results. We have faced great teams and played well, though later it wasn’t reflected in the scoresheet.”

“I believe we are better prepared than in the first round, with a better physical condition and having more players. It’s something reflected in the games, because we competed against great teams like Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia. We were there against Valencia until the penalty, and against Sevilla everything was on until minute 60. Still, it isn’t enough. We need to start showing things against Espanyol.” He added.

An interesting fact is that Fernández is aware of the importance of the meeting, but at the same time he believes that it isn’t a final, “Tomorrow’s game is important, decisive and special for our mood. We play at our field and the team needs to achieve the victory. But neither the game is definitive. The victory won’t bring the salvation, but it will be very opportune to achieve the victory.”

He explained what he expects from the game, “For our characteristics we are a team that needs to reach the goal, we need balance between defence and offence. We need to create scoring chances and let’s see our aim in the game, but I’m calm as we are creating the chances. Espanyol have a strong defence and have a solid transition with the ball.”

The coach was also saying that it’s important to motivate the fans during the game, “We all are conscious that this is the definitive part of the tournament, either for the rivals that we are facing or for how tight things are. It’s hard for everyone to win and this is going to be the constant. We need to be strong on the road and also need to motivate our fans at home. Our chances to win are increased if we can motivate our people.”

Finally, Víctor said again that the goal of the permanence won’t be achieved tomorrow, though it will be an important step in case of a victory, “The problem is that the goal isn’t achieved if we win. I have the impression that people are missing this circumstance. We neither can be valorising hypothesis. Last week you were telling me that we could end in relegation in case of a defeat against Valencia, well we lost and aren’t in relegation. It’s not helpful to talk of hypothesis. We won’t reach the salvation if we win tomorrow, but it will help a lot if we add the three points.”

Espanyol’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s noon; two things were the headlines of the press conference: the casualty of Sergio Garcia for the game and his return to the Riazor after nine years. About the status of the striker he explained that, “The casualty of Sergio García is a pity. We thought that we were going to recover him during the week, but it wasn’t possible. His exit is important for many reasons: he brings goal, scoring opportunities and is the captain that cheers up the team.”

The Catalan man didn’t want to reveal if he will keep playing with a 4-4-2 after suffering this casualty, “For us he’s a vital player and for this reason the rest of the team is forced to make a step forward. I cannot close the option to play with two strikers: Stuani and Caicedo. But the true is that I have other alternatives.”

He was describing what he expects from Deportivo, “They feel comfortable with the ball. They have plenty of room to move in attack and it can create cracks at their defence. We must try to seize that and recover our identity.”

Despite Espanyol are living a calmed situation at the standings, the coach is pushing his team to win the game, “This is a game that we must try to win no matter how complicate it will be, because Deportivo have spent five games without winning. We have to recover our identity: pressure and intensity. The first challenge is to win at the Riazor, later the next Monday against Elche.”

Later the ex-Depor midfielder was talking of his feelings as this is his first visit to the Riazor after leaving the Galician club, “I spent nine very special years there, as a player. That’s why it is very special to me. I have a lot to thank to Deportivo. They treated me really well, it's my second home, but now I return in a different situation, as a coach. My job is to win there."

“It's exciting to return to the Riazor after nine years. Every time I think about it I get excited and I’m honored to do it as the coach of Espanyol. Riazor is a magic field. I was able to achieve big wins there and also significant defeats. People valorized my job and everything related to this club is exciting to me and gives me goosebumps.” He added.



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