“Racing is up for much more, but this category is very even”

I imagine that he is looking forward to the Málaga match after his expulsion against Las Palmas…

Yes…, very much, very much. It was very bad luck, but, well, it’s football and to continue.

Over time, do you recognize the red card as fair?

The referee is a meter away and shows a yellow card and you don’t understand why he then goes to VAR and shows a red card. Yes, it is true that if you see it in slow motion it seems much more. It’s an ugly entry because I’m a little late, but it’s not malicious at all, what happens is that now, with this VAR thing, you know that these things can happen.

Are you clear about whether in this type of action, which the referee has seen perfectly, the VAR referee should intervene or not?

Actions of these occur in a match and there are times that they review, times that they don’t, it depends on the referee. Each referee is different, just like the players, and you have to try to learn from that, maybe not go so hard on the plays…, I’ll keep the good, with the reaction of the team, which made a great effort during so much time with one less and got a point.

A colleague commented, that day, that as soon as you entered the locker room you apologized to the rest of the squad…

Yes, in the end I left my teammates and the team with ten, in the 40th minute, that there was a world to play for, and even more so against Las Palmas, who always have a lot of possession.

Pombo, apologizing after the entrance to Viera that ended up costing him the expulsion.

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Pombo, apologizing after the entrance to Viera that ended up costing him the expulsion.CUBERO NACHOJournalAS

On Saturday the red lantern is played against Malaga after eight days, is Racing not up for more?

Man…, the team is for much more, obviously. Yes, it is true that we have just reached the category, which is very complex, in which no team is going to get many points from the rest. It is a very even category and in any game you can give the surprise. You have to be calm, I don’t think Malaga is a final at all. Little by little, and now with the whole team, things are going to work out.

If we keep the first half hour against Las Palmas and the last against Eibar, it does seem that there is wood for more…

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Totally agree. Against Las Palmas we started incredible, without being hurt and we having three or four very clear, and the end in Eibar, the same. No team dominates the 90’s in this league and you have to know how to make yourself strong when the bad times come and take advantage of the good ones, which is where we lack a bit, to put the ball in the goal, but I fully trust the team, the coach and what we work on.

The numbers say that they are the team with the least possession in the Second Division, but they have played worse in the games in which they have had more ball. Are they a team made for counterattack?

Everyone would like to have 100% possession, but you have to adapt to the team you have. We know that we are strong against and that we can make the transition quickly. I don’t have any problem, if you play against it, you play against it. It doesn’t matter, it’s about scoring one more goal than the opponent. The statistics are there, but against Las Palmas we only had 19%, but we were better than them and if it hadn’t been for the expulsion another rooster would have sung.

Sekou Gassama, from Racing, and Anaitz Arbilla, from Eibar.

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Sekou Gassama, struggling with Arbilla in the Ipurua match.AMAIA ZABALOJOURNAL AS

In Eibar we saw Sekou Gassama still far from his best physical shape, but dominating defenders, scoring, hitting the post… how can you get more out of him?

He is a very good player, with a lot of wingspan, very strong, you see him and he intimidates. He has to become strong there, between the central defenders, put up with them and keep the balls that come to him to be able to make good second plays.

With so much at stake, what kind of match do you expect against Málaga?

I see the players and everyone at Racing and we are not nervous. I sense that it will be a match like the one in Las Palmas, I hope that without my expulsion, hahaha, they have a new coach who has very clear ideas, Málaga has always been about having a lot of ball and has very good players. We have to be on our own, together, know how to wait for our moment and, this time, make the most of it.

And let’s see if Mantilla arrives on time, otherwise, with the injuries to Medina and Dani Fernández, they would have a hole in the right side…

The holes are always covered and you have to fix it somehow. Surely the solution chosen by the coach will be the best for everyone.

Jorge Pombo had a great chance, hand in hand with the goalkeeper, against Las Palmas.

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Jorge Pombo had a great chance, hand in hand with the goalkeeper, against Las Palmas.CUBERO NACHOJournalAS

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