Before flying to Madrid for the second time this week, Julen Lopetegui attended the media to speak about tomorrow's Copa del Rey game against CD Leganés: 'We are in a different competition and need to change our mindset accordingly. Football never stops and we are fully motivated to play this Cup match. The Cup is a wonderful, demanding, and difficult competition where every match is a final. We are focused for the match, which takes place in the Wanda, but that doesn't change anything. Leganés are a good team, their squad has very little difference with many squads in La Liga. They play really well as a team. The best word to describe our mindset is motivated.'
LOPETEGUI: 'THERE'S VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEGANÉS AND MANY TEAMS IN LA LIGA'
Regarding the change of venue to the Wanda Metropolitano, Lopetegui did not see it as having too much importance: 'It doesn't favour or disadvantage us. We have to focus on our opponent and prepare for it as we prepare for any other match. It's a good stadium for both teams but Leganés still do have a certain home advantage and we still need to travel to Madrid. We travel ready to play a tough game. They are well coached and they have individual and collective talent.'
The match brings a reunion with an old friend, Pep Martí: 'He's an institution. He had a great time at Sevilla and he's the kind of footballer every manager wants in their team. His teams have a recognisable style: they play well, they are aggressive and organised, they press well. They are very complete. He has players who fit his play style well and we have to deal with that. Our motivation and excitement to play in the Cup will push us on.'
'Pep Martí's teams have a recognisable play style and are very complete'
Lopetegui was asked about Carlos Fernández and Jesús Navas' fitness and Idrissi and Munir's form: 'Carlos could train a bit but he's not at 100%. The rest of the team trained without problems. We didn't sub Navas off the other day because of an injury, he's feeling good and has fully recovered. Idrissi is training well and has got minutes, sometimes even the full ninety. I'm sure he will help us out in this second half of the season. Munir has had good moments and some less good. He has to keep pushing to have those good moments because the better he is the better the team are.'
To finish off, he discussed the worsening state of the pandemic and how it may affect football: 'First of all as a human being it worries me a lot, let's forget about football for a moment. All of society is suffering from this disease that seems it is going to hit us hard again. Hopefully we have learnt from the previous waves and we can counteract it along with the vaccine. We need to be very careful. In football we are living in a constant bubble but we have to take precautions as well because no bubble is impenetrable. We have to be careful but with optimism and confidence that we will overcome this. We are dealing with it the best way possible in football but it is something that affects us every day. It's a different context for all of us and we have to work hard to adapt to it.'