NEWS | 28/04/2015 | Alberto Navarro | PHOTOGRAPHER: Ángel Martínez“Against Almería we kick start a period of the season in which every encounter will be determine the outcome of the future”, he added.
“We are focused on this match and are aware of how difficult the remaining games are. We are going to try to be at our best. The team are in good shape, playing well, and we can play with full intensity for the final stage of the season”.
The upcoming rival
“Almería have changed their playing style with the arrival of the new manager. They control possession better now and have been picking up good results lately. They are in good form at the moment and all the sides fighting to stay up are going to be difficult to play against”.
Fatigue from the Champions League
“We have a difficult fixture list because all the games are tough, but we are confident we can do well. We'll have players coming back from injury soon. We have to try and win all our remaining games, although we could get past Juventus with two draws”.
Praise for James
“He has surprised all of us. He is a top quality player and has gelled very well with the team. He has played in a number of different positions and is having an extremely good season. He has helped the team out a lot and is a very humble player. He is fresh and his time sidelined with injury has helped him in this regard”.
“He is a hugely talented player and he also possesses a durable physique not often found in great talents. He has gotten used to playing in a deeper role which requires him to cover more ground. That is what has surprised me most. Some people adjust to new footballing ideas and new environments very quickly. Others need more time to get used to this playing style”.
“Drawing a game would complicate winning La Liga for us. However, we can approach the Juventus game with the old Italian style of parking the bus in front of goal. Nonetheless, we shouldn't forget we're close to reaching 100 goals in La Liga”.
Continuing with Chicharito
“That is a topic we will be discussing. All I can say is that I have been very impressed with his professionalism throughout the year and whenever he's had a chance to play he has done very well. As a coach it is great to have players who are always ready. I make mistakes all the time, but whenever I have to name a starting line-up I evaluate form. He is doing really well and we are all happy for him”.
“He'll start tomorrow. I can't explain why he seems to always play in the Santiago Bernabéu. I don't think about whether it is home or away fixture. He can play in any stadium”.
“He has lacked playing time firstly because he had to overcome a serious injury and then he was faced with a lot of competition. But he's ready to play now and will feature tomorrow”.
Getting Bale and Benzema back
“We reckon Bale will be back for the Sevilla game. He will work on his own today and tomorrow and could return to the team after that. Benzema will start training with the team again on Sunday. He will travel to Turin by coach and airplane like the rest of the players. He'll be in the right shape to do that. He is not at full fitness, but we need him for this semi-final, just like we need the whole squad”.
Three centre halves during the closing stages in Vigo
“That was circumstantial. We always play with four at the back and very rarely do I use three centre halves. Celta played with four forwards in the second half and with the lead on the scoreboard I thought it was the thing to do. They provided us with security and confidence. That was circumstantial because I usually like to play with four at the back”.
“Odegaard, Mayoral and Diego Llorente are in the squad. Two of the three will be on the bench and could get a run out”.
End of La Liga season
“Atlético are a professional team and I'm confident they'll be going out to beat Barcelona. I have no doubts about the level of professionalism of the club or the manager”.