Pablo Machín gave a detailed press conference in the run-up to Sevilla-Athletic tomorrow, in which the Sorian stated his team must be completely focused: 'You always have to try and be a competitive team and go for the win in every match, even in cases like this one where the score is already in our favour. The only way to compete well is to think we have to win the game. We lost in the league, we weren't as good as we were in the cup, but we also have to give the opponent credit. Athletic improved and in the league they were as clinical as we were on Thursday. I'm not unhappy with the performance, but I accept we were far from winning it. We'll look at and change some things so other players get into a good rhythm and show they're ready to play.
MACHÍN: 'THE ONLY WAY TO COMPETE WELL IS TO THINK WE HAVE TO WIN TOMORROW'
Regarding whether Munir will make his Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán debut or not tomorrow: 'What the team needs will decide that. He made his debut and played behind the strikers, but other than a breath of fresh air it was a necessity. Beyond the player, who we desperately wanted, we needed to fill this position. If we said that we needed another striker when we had Muriel, we needed one even more then. The three of them will have their chances and should work well together. Rather than thinking that they're taking someone's spot, it's more that they're helping one another. Munir has scored goals at every team he's been at and at his age he has room to improve. He's a well-known player, a good fit and at a club which suits him right down to the ground. He has a chance to start tomorrow, but I need to see how everyone is doing.'
Machín also spoke about the team's recent troubles away from home, stating it was normal: 'Every team finds it difficult away from home. We were close to winning some of the games we drew and the other day we were punished by how clinical Athletic were and I don't want to say bad luck, but that can come into it as well. They were more clinical than us and I'm not worried, the team has ability and will keep on being competitive. There'll be times where we don't play as well and we've been saying it since the start as we play against some top opponents who try and cancel you out. Just because one game seemed worse than the others doesn't mean that it's going to happen again.
I'm not worried, the team has ability and will keep on being competitive
The coach was also quizzed regarding the referee at the Bernabéu: 'I always say that I can't control everything, you'd end up losing energy if you tried to. It's not something I focus on much and sometimes I only find out when I arrive at the stadium. We trust that he will do his job well. Every referee has a different style and the criteria should be the same for everyone, but Mateu is a unique referee in this respect. I trust that we won't have to remember the referee after the game.'
Back to the cup, he made it clear that there's no room for complacency: 'That's what we try to do in every training session, focus on the coming game. We know that football is so crazy that anything can happen. It happened between Barcelona and PSG in the Champions League not too long ago. If you aren't at your best level, any team can get the comeback. It's in our hands, but until the referee blows his whistle to end the game we can't say that we've gone through. We'll need our fans as always.'
'If you aren't at your best level, any team can get the comeback'
To finish, he spoke about a potential renewal of his contract: 'It's important for me that people think I'm getting the best out of this squad. Whether the club wants to extend my contract or not doesn't depend on me. I feel valued ever since they took a chance on me and showed me I was the right man for the job. I always try to do the best job I can. I would need to have a talk with the club and make plans to consider it, but no one can shut the doors on your club if they show confidence in you. I would love to, but I know to focus on the present. In two weeks, some bad results can make things seem not so good.'