Pepe Mel: "We have a competitive team that is improving as the days go by"

21/07/2017 20:30

Pepe Mel spoke to the press in Abegondo this morning.

First, the Deportivista coach spoke about the start of the league with Real Madrid visiting Estadio ABANCA-RIAZOR the first week: “We have to prepare ourselves well, like we’re doing. We are expecting a completely different setting from last season's match. Another sure thing is that there is a footballer that won’t be playing (Fede Valverde due to contract issues), so thinking about that game and getting ready for it”.

In that sense, he pointed out “it’s our home debut, in front of our people. We are excited with the new league. We want to do things well. We want to be protagonists for positive things. I think the pre-season has been programmed for us to begin very strong. That’s why we're competing so often. It doesn’t matter what rival we’re facing, we train hard in the morning to play with tired legs in the afternoon. Real Madrid is the first. Nothing to say. We have options of winning like any other match”.

He described Real Madrid as a team “that's very important on the pitch, with lots of variety, possibilities of playing different ways, great players. They’re coming from winning the Liga and Champions. We have to bring our A game and that’s why we've been preparing ourselves since 5 July”.

Regarding Deportivo’s signing of Swiss defender Schär, Pepe Mel stated, “I’m happy with the four (central-defenders) I have here (Sidnei, Arribas, Albentosa and Róber). They are working superbly well and I’m counting on all four of them. The Club told me we had to foresee what happened last year with Lucas, and that there are possibilities we may have the same problem at a time during the season where we won’t be able to react. And that’s why they’ve made this move”.

He insisted his concern is “the striker. You’ve seen that I have to use Óscar, Bakkali... Even Fede (Cartabia) was ready to play tomorrow's friendly (in Carballo). We cannot compete with just one striker”.

With regard to everything else, the Deportivista coach said, “I believe we have a competitive team that is improving as the days go by”.

Asked about the newcomers, he stated, “I’m happy with all of them. They are contributing many things. Even Bakkali has come tremendously keen to prove he is a great player. We already knew Cartabia. Let’s see if he’s 100% well, the same with Gerard. Very happy with all of them, even Róber, who has surprised me in a positive way”.

He also spoke about the goalkeepers. With two first team goalkeepers (Rubén and Tyton), he left his preferences pretty clear to the press: “I wouldn’t like to have three professional keepers. I also think that Dépor has found a diamond in the rough and we have to take care of it. Apart from being a football club, we also have to be clever. We have to know how to manage ourselves. When a player has possibilities, they have to be taken care of, because what happens in the future depends on things like that”.

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