Jorge Sampaoli
First team


"Our priority is to play better than our opponents and we haven't done that so far"
Cuerpo Superior

Despite getting his first win in his second spell at the helm against RCD Mallorca on Saturday, Jorge Sampaoli is looking for improvements from his side.

The Argentine spoke at the pre-match press conference on the eve of our MD10 fixture at home to Valencia CF.

To begin, he commented on the need to play better than our opponents.

"We need to keep correcting things to make us more solid in both attack and defence. We have to prioritise what we do, not the opponents. They are a very aggressive side who are quick in transitions, they have very dedicated players and it'll be tough for us if we don't play well."

"Our priority is to play better than our opponents, aside from knowing them what's really important is improving, which we haven't done so far."

Next up on the agenda was injury updates.

"Fernando trained yesterday but today he wasn't feeling good and he hasn't trained. He's not available for tomorrow, but Jesús Navas is."

"When Rafa gets a chance, he's decisive and clinical"

Sampaoli then commented on Rafa Mir, who is looking to again lead the team's goalscoring charts.

"Using an example of the past as a way to rediscover your form in the present or the future is a possibility. We'll have to look at the finer details of the team so that Rafa Mir, whose focus is scoring goals, considers having communication with his teammates. When he gets a chance, he's decisive and clinical, but we have to find partnerships so something so important happens."

The coach is looking for improvements from the team as a whole, but also on an individual level.

"These situations are to do with improving on an individual level to contribute to the team and grow as a team in terms of gaining an advantage positionally, in terms of dynamics, so that if an individual characteristic is missing, they can improve collectively."

"We'll try to make them grow stronger according to the style of play and the wider picture. If decisive players come onto the scene it's easier to climb the table. If they don't, we're stuck in a place without growth. It could be down to an individual change, but it's better to do it as a team."

"We need a way of attacking that will make our opponents uncomfortable"

The Argentine then commented on the lack of attacking output during Saturday's win.

"The first thing is that we have lots of players who are far away from the opposition's goal. They drop deep and they're far from the other 18-yard box. There's no threats or situations, it becomes difficult. The best spell of attacking play we've had came in the first 25 minutes against Athletic, or during various moments or counter-attacks in Germany, but it didn't happen on Saturday."

"We've got a lot of matches, there's fatigue, away matches, and we're playing against teams who play once a week. It's not an excuse, but we need a way of attacking that will make our opponents uncomfortable. Changes to the team are an option because we need fresh players who are obsessed with going for the opponents' goal. We try to make sure that in every match the best players play and give 100%."

Sampaoli then commented on his reasons for joining the club.

"It's a chance to learn as a coach, in a time in which I need motivations. I want to see if I can create changes in the short-term and in the team's behaviour. I don't know how it will turn out, but I focused more on the opportunity on the outcome."

To finish, he was asked about if he is clear about his needs in the transfer window.

"There's so many matches, so after the next two there'll be a much clearer analysis. There are players who are here for a certain reason and a coach who has to adjust to the players who are here. We'll see if we can keep adapting ourselves or if players can join who can improve what I can do."