“It’s no use lowering your arms, bowing your head“, considers Luis Garciatrainer of a Spanish that reaches the last four days to four points of permanence. And that is why he assumed this Friday that “In Vallecas, life is already on us. We have lived in the wire and luckily we still have chances”. The parakeet coach knows that only victory will be worth this Sunday against Rayo. “Of course it is possible, everything changes a result. We are on time”.
In his appearance before the match, at the Dani Jarque Sports City, Luis García also referred to the derby scene in which Barcelona players, such as Jordi Alba and Ferran Torres, made fun of Óscar Gil. “They look like ugly images, of little companion”, he commented. “I know that they have apologized, and one can be wrong, but before that one must put oneself in the other’s place. Not because we are in this situation, we have to be primed because tomorrow can be the other way around; you always have to put yourself on the side of the other ”, he valued.
LaLiga Santander 2022/2023
|Ray – Spanish||D-21/05 14:00|
|Spanish – athletic||M-24/05 22:00|
|Valencia – Spanish||D-28/05 19:00|
*Data updated as of May 19, 2023
How is the infirmary?
“The evolution of Martin (Braithwaite) is very good, we hope to have him before the end of the season. Jose has played the ball again today. The rest is all good.”
“In today’s training it has been activated. Good”.
Is permanence possible?
“He is totally convinced that it is possible. The situation is getting more and more difficult, but the team is working very hard. The results are not given, but it is useless to lower your arms, bow your head because that leads you to abandonment and that, believing that it is not possible, does not enter my vocabulary. Of course it is possible, everything changes a result. We are on time”.
Is it a final with all the letters?
“We don’t think about anything other than winning. If we don’t, things get very complicated, but our lives are in the Vallecas game. We have to start from minute 1 for the game because surely one point is not enough and we must win to believe with work and results that it is possible”.
How do you reverse the spirit and conviction of the team after a setback as hard as that of the derby?
“Going back to work even more. We do not have a magic wand to change the dynamics. It is implicit in my nature that the worse things get, the more I want to turn the situation around. And it is very consistent with the values of this club. The players feel it too, I feel a lot of energy and turn this around. In Vallecas, life is already on us. We have lived on the wire and luckily we still have chances”.
Have they prepared themselves mentally in case they start losing?
“That is the most complex part, not in football but in life: managing your mind, being positive in those situations. We have talked a lot about it. What happens in the game cannot change your way of disposing, you cannot collapse by conceding two goals, just as it is useless to abandon the current situation no matter how dark one may see it. The solution is always to face situations with integrity, naturalness and the desire to get ahead”.
Did you know that Espanyol have always lost to Rayo de Iraola?
“Well then, better, now is the time to win, not only because we break the statistics but because we risk everything. We are convinced that we can achieve it and with a victory everything will look different. Rayo is doing very well, but life depends on us in that match”.
How do you defeat a team like this Rayo?
“To beat a team like Rayo you have to do many things well. They are not there by chance, but because of a clear idea of the game and because at club level they have trusted a coach, a structure, a way of doing things. It is something that is scarce today in football and that is fundamental. They have great verticality on the left with the Garcías, Isi on the inside is very good, in pressure after loss they are strong, it is a somewhat smaller field where the number of duels is multiplied… You have to have all five senses on, tremendously concentrated and asset”.
Do these dimensions benefit or harm Espanyol?
“The less space, the faster you have to think, the better you have to move the ball and the better defensively you have to position yourself. The Lightning can be very vertical, you must be very activated both in the returns and in the dueling actions ”.
Can you work on some levels of pressure on your opponent?
“Everything in this life can be worked on and improved. If we want to be intense and aggressive, we must be more decisive without the ball, so that the opponent does not think, generate duels and win them. We try to improve the footballer in all aspects of the game because that gives value to the club”.
How difficult do you see it compared to your experiences as a player flirting with relegation?
“I have lived through many and very difficult ones. It’s not an easy situation, but in 20 minutes the team had to score four goals to save themselves (at Belgian KAS Eupen). With Mauricio the situation was also critical with ten games to go. We are lucky to be able to be alive after having a pretty bad dynamic.”
How is Óscar Gil, after his game and the mockery of some Barcelona players on the bench, such as Jordi Alba and Ferran Torres?
“I always see Óscar well, he is a super focused guy, with very clear ideas, a brutal capacity for improvement. He is an extraordinary boy, with a great desire to learn. The worse things are, the more he is. They seem to me ugly images, of little companionship, because when you are in these situations you suffer, take it home, pay for it with your family. The soccer player is a person. I know that they have apologized, and one can be wrong, but before that one must put oneself in the other’s place. Not because we are in this situation, we have to be primed because tomorrow could be the other way around; You always have to take the side of the other.”
How is the team abstracted from the post-derby noise?
“This is all part of football. When you’re in this sport and you know what moves you, it’s normal, you should focus on your work, focus on the things that give you energy, not the ones that take away from you”.
What would you say to the fans?
“We cannot ask them for anything because they have given absolutely everything. The ones who have failed have been us. We can only say that we are going to give our best, that we are not going to give up, that we firmly believe that it is possible because I see what the players are doing and they are convinced. What I say here is useless, they are words, but after winning a game everything will be different. We are going to leave everything for the pride of the shirt we wear and because we have exemplary fans behind us”.