Squad news


20 Sep 2015
Both coaches emphasized that their teams need to keep improving; Depor’s coach is aware that the fans could be important and asks for patience in order to break the rival’s defence.

Abelardo Fernández Antuña is a former defender of FC Barcelona with a long and successful career as a player. He won the three titles in Spain with the Catalans and played two FIFA World Cups and two Euro tournaments and won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

He became a coach in 2008 and had two stages with the B squad of Sporting Gijón, in 2014 he replaced sacked José Ramón Sandoval at the first squad and was responsible for last year’s promotion to Primera División, thanks to this achievement he signed a three-year renewal in June. This is his first meeting as a coach with Víctor Sánchez.

Depor’s coach addressed the media on Saturday’s noon and after the training behind closed doors at the Riazor. He talked for 12 minutes with reporters and started explaining why the players picked for the game will be concentrated until Sunday, “There’s no problem is changing the formats of the concentrations; actually we consider it is interesting as we spent a lot of minutes concentrated. We are coming from a long trip to Madrid and we understand that this is good at this moment, because we play at home and the circumstances make this possible.”

He said that Depor is ready to face the three upcoming games, meetings that will be disputed in a frame of eight days, “We have worked within the last two weeks and haven’t only focused in this match. What we did was maximizing the time and thinking a lot of it. We are prepared for this.”

 About Sporting, the Madrilenian manager said that Depor need patience in order to break their defensive order, “Sporting Gijón is a team with a fantastic coach, you can see their performance and results. It’s a team that has demonstrated compromise and solidarity, it has a good passing game and has a defensive characteristic in which you have to create spaces in order to make some damage. It won’t be easy and we have prepared ourselves for it. And one of our offensive characteristic should be the patience.”

Asked about the possibility to repeat the lineup, he answered that, “Each game requires specific needs, there could be changes because the match needs it. It isn’t a matter of repeating for repeating. We are focused in improving and each game is open to see the players that are working at the top transmitting this into the games. It isn’t only the merit of the 14 players taking part of the game, but of all the players working each day at Abegondo, aware that that the common goal is the team. There will be opportunities for everybody.”

The coach was saying that, despite the recent results, Depor need to keep improving, “There’s an ascending line and we hope to stay undefeated. Of course we want the victory and no matter what happens the speech is the same: we must keep improving. We understand that the players have this capacity and we are thankful with them, because we understand that the work has been fine. No matter things worked out on last week we must keep demanding an improvement.”

Finally Víctor is aware that the fans are hopeful with the performance of the team and believes it can be a mutual effect that can help both, the team and the fans, “We are hoping in having a full stadium, we know that a lot of fans are coming from the rival’s team, and we hope that the environment could be great, with both group of fans cheering up their teams. We are enchanted with the fans, and the best way to thank them is to give back the hope. But from that point to have an external distraction cannot affect us, because we cannot be distracted by external issues, we must remain focused in an internal improvement. There are no limits as we want to win here and away, and we want to be united with the fans, so this hope that has been created with the high expectations can help us to have more socios, so instead of 25,000 we can have 30,000. The players are giving their best in order to create this hope. As long as we can we more subscribers, it will make us stronger, in this regard is where the fans count.”

Sporting’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s noon; at the time he wasn’t sure if keeper Cuéllar was going to be picked for the match, “For Cuéllar we will have to wait until tomorrow in the last training. We will see his feelings and will decide if he makes the trip. I am optimistic, but a keeper must train as the movements made by them are more abrupt.” [Cuéllar passed a late test and is expected to be a starter in the game]

He was praising the level of Deportivo, “They are in great shape. They are coming after adding four points playing at Mestalla and Vallecas and is difficult to score a goal against them. They made a lot of signings, have experience in defence and there’s quality and precision up front. I am worried, but just like I am worried before any Primera side.”

Asked about possible changes at the lineup, the Asturian coach admitted that he is preparing novelties, “There will be some changes on Sunday, but we also have them last week before Valencia. Taking in mind the rival we could end up making a change at midfield and in attack.”

One of the possible changes is the appearance of young defender Jorge Meré replacing Luis Hernández, “Luis was working fine, he always gives his best and if he had issues then it was because it is something important. Meré could play in any of the upcoming three matches.”

The former player of Barcelona admitted that he’s worried as his team is missing the goal, but mainly as it is missing the victories, “Yes we need the goal, but with a victory, because if we score once and they do it twice… But clearly you won’t win if you don’t score.”

Finally, Abelardo is optimistic with what he has saw from his team on this start of season, “This team has improved. Last season, at this height of the competition, we weren’t like this. The doubt is if this improvement will be enough to secure the permanence. It was tough to face Madrid, but later we played better against Valencia and we lost. In order to achieve the permanence we all need to keep improving. It is a season in which we will suffer, we are mentalized that our goal is to end 17th.”



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