Mendilibar: “Mourinho has managed until Eto’o plays as a winger”

How do you prepare for the final, with Madrid in the middle?

We are talking about six days from now and in between we have a game. We are making drawings to arrive as healthy as possible to that city. We play on Saturday and we have the final on Wednesday. We appreciate that the calendar is compressed, for being in the final, but it is complicated, especially for the players. Yesterday we played 70 minutes with one less.

Acuña will miss the final. Do you have a clear replacement for him?

You’ll see what I do there. You want me to tell you who’s playing in six days, with a game in between?

How do you face the duel against Madrid?

It is a problem that I have to solve. Do not load the players with minutes to arrive well on Wednesday. Madrid and Real are super competitive and good and we don’t want to play the Indian either. Let’s see if we get people back to compete well, not only comply but also win. We’ll see if Jordán, Marcao and Nianzou can help us at certain times.

What do you ask of Badé and what will become of his future?

I don’t know about the future, how to know what he’s going to do. What we ask of him: defensive security, being strong in the air, a little improvement in getting out with the ball… We usually play on the inside sometimes and I like playing on the outside more. Take priorities, you must know what to do at all times. He is young.

Are you going to get an Andalusian accent, like Rakitic?

Rakitic is Andalusian, he has nothing Croatian or Swiss or anything. And he lives like an Andalusian, his wife has worked well for him there. His importance is great, he is a great player who is giving us a lot. Within the group he is important to everyone and he is spreading the good.

Have you dreamed of that final?

I haven’t had time to think about that final or the rival. I’ve been drawing drawings for the line-ups since yesterday, because we’ve had very committed games in which you can’t go around doing nonsense. I have seen some game of Roma but I have not started to think about much else. We want to arrive alive after Madrid and prepare well for Wednesday.

Has Zaldibar revved up?

All the close people are from Sevilla, and before they were neither fu nor fa. Family and friends go to Budapest, they leave from Bilbao and there are a lot of people there thinking about that final.

And in Seville, what do they ask of you?

I don’t go out too much. But Andalusians are very open and give everything. Up there they look at you and rarely say hello or ask you. Here they go to death and ask you for anything. Where you go you have to do what is there.

What is your opinion of Mourinho?

Mourinho is one of the greats. Just think what he has won and where he has been… he has coached the best clubs in Europe. Everything I can say about him is good. Being able to face him, wonderful. We will try to win.

How do you rate Mou’s football?

There will be differences. Yes, we visited him when he was training Madrid. We were able to see him in two sessions, one match and we spoke to his coaching staff. Grateful that he left us. Mourinho has shown that he is a great coach, he has implanted his style in his teams and on top of that he has done well. That is from a very good coach, at all times he has convinced the player. He has made Eto’o play on the wing in a match, well, tell me.

Is Sevilla favorite for its six Europa Leagues?

Sevilla can be given as a favorite with six UEFAs. Many times you look at the history or the budget. I see it fifty percent. When I arrived here two months ago the team was two points behind relegation and in the quarterfinals. At no time do they tell you that you have to abandon the Europa League and focus on LaLiga. You feel like it’s bigger in that sense of wanting to win. In two and a half months we are going to play 17 games and you convince yourself that every day you must go to win each game. Apart from the club, it is the same people on the street who demand that of you. It’s not enough for them to reach the final, they have to win it.

Is Roma more Juve or more United?

More Italian. Just like we are changing players, so are they.

What would it mean to win the Europa League?

It is very important for the club to be able to play in the Champions League next season. That generates income and if not, that income drops a lot. The budget would also change, and the objectives. And for me too. Not even God remembers the finalist. Since we’ve come this far, let’s see if we can win it.

What do you say to the fans juggling their way to the final?

There are not enough flights, because there is no capacity in or planes. There are people who draw pictures to be able to present themselves there. I thank everyone who wants to go and whoever can’t to support from here. We will try to make the party here later.

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