The VCF coach previewed the Copa del Rey game against Sporting Gijon
Marcelino spoke to the media ahead of Valencia CF's Copa del Rey game against Sporting Gijon, which takes place at Mestalla on Tuesday at 9:30pm CET.
How do you approach the game?
Just like any other. Every game is important. You have to win them and we want to go through to the next round. We've prepared for this game knowing that we have to turn the scoreline around, and we are excited about being able to do that.
Do you feel strengthened by Saturday's game?
What gives me strength and comforts me is my work. What I want is to win games. The club have never given me an ultimatum, nor was my job at stake; coaches are winners, players are winners and when you don't win then the situation is one of sadness. We've had many disappointments like that of the other day this season, in which the team deserved to win but we weren't able to turn that into a victory. In some games you don't win when you deserve to, but there have been many like that for us, which generates sadness.
What kind of a Sporting side do you expect on Tuesday?
I expect an intense, dynamic, fast Sporting. They show that those are their qualities every matchday. We could have killed the tie off away from home, but our lack of effectiveness in front of goal and Sportings high effectiveness gave them the result.
We're playing at home, in front of our fans. Sporting will look to maintain the result or improve upon it, as they did against Eibar in the last round. We have to avoid that. We can expect to suffer, as we've had difficulty scoring goals, but we know that a 1-0 victory will take us through.
The cup not being a priority
In a decision that is completely backed by the club, we are prioritising LaLiga. That doesn't mean, however, that we are throwing away the Copa del Rey. We have to economise our efforts with the players that we have, because through injuries and departures we are struggling. The intention is to win and to go through to the next round. We are going to make changes, but we are the favourites to go through.
How do you feel about the players backing you?
I feel grateful. In a situation that is as difficult as this one, seeing various players transmit the confidence that they have in the coaching staff is comforting. It's good to feel respected, supported and loved by the players. We are working to optimise the players' performance, and the fact that when that doesn't happen the group stick together and continue to have faith in the coach is the biggest source of satisfaction. We're all going through a bad time. I said before that I felt the players believed in the coaching staff's ideas, and we have to take that onto the pitch and win.
Have you been in contact with Mateu Alemany about his meeting in Singapore?
I knew before the game on Saturday that there was going to be a meeting, and I'm not worried about what will happen there. If the majority shareholder decides to get rid of the coaching staff, then I have to respect that; the results are worse than expected and the analysis of what has happened is difficult to explain. I'm strong, convinced that we are on the right path and hopeful that our effectiveness in front of goal changes.
Are the strikers nervous?
The strikers feel more needed than ever. It's something that you can feel, because the team need goals. Goals give you confidence in both attack and defence, knowing that the team are going to score. I wouldn't focus only on the strikers, but rather all the attacking players on the team.
Piccini didn't train with the group. Is he fit?
Piccini has a problem with his left knee after a knock in the game against Valladolid. We will see how he recovers.
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