Julen Lopetegui during the press conference
First team

LOPETEGUI: "IN THE AWAY GAME GRANADA PLAYED VERY WELL"

The manager was full of praise for tomorrow's opponents for the season they are having after returning to the top flight

Julen Lopetegui held his pre-match press conference today ahead of tomorrow's home game against Granada CF: "We're concentrated and prepared for what will be a difficult game. In the away game they played very well and they're one of the toughest opponents in the league. They do a lot of good things and know how to defend as well as attack. In the games away from home in which they haven't taken anything from, they have only lost out by the finest of margins". In addition he highlighted their effectiveness in their last outing against FC Barcelona: "When it was 11v11 and even when they had 10 players, they knew how to defend well. They played a good game and left their mark on it, on both the defensive and offensive side. They have good players and a good coach".

As is the norm, Lopetegui said that they need to be at the top of their game: "We're going to need to play well all over the pitch. They're going to demand a high level of us. They've improved a lot with the good players they have and they have a very clear idea of how they want to play". As for his own side, he was asked about Óliver because Banega is suspended: "I don't like to talk about individual players. When the team is playing well, everyone comes up with the goods. If Banega is not there, then he could play - along with other players. We've a lot of games to play in a short time period, so we have to be careful with everyone and make sure we pick the right team".

The transfer market is still ongoing and Granada have just announced the loan signing of Vallejo: "He's a great addition for them, even though they already have good centre-backs in addition to Germán; such as Domingos and Martínez. They have good options in this position and Vallejo will definitely be another". Moving on from La Liga, he commented on the surprises in the Copa del Rey: "It didn't surprise me because the Copa does this. We knew that there would be shocks and we don't want to be one of them. We know the risk that this knew format brings to the bigger teams when it's played over one game. It's a lot harder and the difference in quality between the teams gets smaller, even if they may seem astronomical".

Finally, he spoke about Jordán being ruled out: "We hoped that we would have had him before, but hopefully we will next week. As a medical precaution, he is not yet fit to play and we need the all clear to allow him to play". And, on Carriço: "He didn't train because he has a niggle. We also hope to have him available next week, although that could be too soon".

Communication Department