Sevilla FC's Pablo Machín in San Juan de Dios
First team


The manager spoke at the San Juan de Dios Hospital this morning ahead of their encounter with Villanovense, which Sevilla need to win to progress to the round of 16

Pablo Machín spoke during his visit to the San Juan de Dios Hospital, in Alcalá de Guadaira, ahead of their clash tomorrow with CF Villanovense: 'We¡re all aware that Sevilla are the better side on paper, but it's not the first time that a team from Segunda B have made things difficult for a First Divison team. We'll go with the team that will give us the best chance of winning without forgetting the match against Valencia at the Mestalla, so the fresher players will play. We weren't able to secure qualification to the next round in the first leg, but we now have the chance to rectify the situation.'

The manager does not fear an unwelcome surprise tomorrow, but he recognises that they can't take the match lightly. 'Wehn you ask me about fear, I'll always that there is no fear, but there certainly is respect. You have to have respect if you don't want to be in the headlines on Thursday for being knocked out or struggling. We'll be prepared and our amazing fans will help us from the first minute. That will make things easier for us, but despite the fact that they're a team from a lower division, we have to compete and show that superiority out on the pitch.'

'We have to respect Villanovense if we don't want to be in the headlines on Thursday for the wrong reasons'

Looking back on their draw in Vitoria, he praised the team's response in the second half: 'I'm always honest, but what happens behind closed doors stays there. I do my job as the coach, manager and motivator. We changed certain things and you have to remember that Alavés are yet to lose in their stadium, and they had nine days to prepare for the match and we barely had two. They tried to play the game at a high tempo and the game lasts 93 minutes. You have to manage each moment and we knew how to contain their momentum and get through the dangerous moments. We had the first clear chance and until the break, apart from the unfortunate goal, we didn't compete badly. Then came plan B with the opposition beginning to tire and the coach has to manage all of that. In the end, we showed that we could have even won the match.'

After admitting that Sarabia 'is a doubt for tomorrow but hopefully not for Saturday,' the manager continued to speak about the casualties at right wing-back: 'It always has an effect. When you put a squad together, you always try to make sure that it's well-balanced but you don't imagine that there would be two significant injuries at the same time in the same position. We're going to have to play a few games without are two supposed starting full-backs but the team have shown that they can overcome these things. The difference will be visible, but we can make up for it like we did the other day in Vitoria.'

'Sarabia is a doubt for tomorrow's game but hopefully not for Saturday's'

He then moved onto the battle for La Liga: 'We're not going to change our targets. I still have the same thoughts as the first day I sat down with you guys because the idea was to form a competitive team, to win as many matches as possible and when there are only a few left, the performances will tell us where we can aspire to be. We're showing that we're fighting at the very top and we have to try to keep that up. Maybe we're not destined to win La Liga but even if we don't, we'll try to be as close as possible. For a team like Sevilla, the objective is to be in Europe and we all want the Champions League, but we know that there are three places. There are a lot of teams competing for the fourth spot and if we don't get there, we have to at least make it into the Europa League.'

Finally, he made it clear that he is not rushing into the transfer market: 'Caparrós wants to have the best squad possible and in the summer you know that we held off on a few signings to assess the real level of the team and then wait for the options to reinforce the squad in certain positions during the winter. I have total confidence in what the club are working on and that they'll do what's best for the team. I'm focusing on getting the best performances out of the players that I have and there are still matches left until January, all of which are equally important.'

Communication Department