Javier Aguirre was on pre-match press conference duties ahead of our trip to Burgos CF in the Copa del Rey. Find out what the boss had to say across key topics below:
On injuries: “Valjent and Muriqi are out and Jaume Costa was added as a precaution. It's a muscular issue that happened in training. It is a grade one injury. Let's see if he makes it for the Celta Vigo match. Morlanes and Luna are not traveling due to a fever.”
On Burgos CF: “We have to face them with the same seriousness that we have had all season. In the Cup we have two opponents in which the best way to respect them is to play seriously and do our job. This will be no exception this time as the opponent's numbers are good, especially at their place. They are very well worked and managed and I think it will be a very difficult match for us.”
On Braian Cufré's situation: “He belongs to the club, he finished his loan and came back. We are waiting for the sports management to answer that question. Pablo informed me that he should train with us. At the moment I am not including him in any scenario, unless the club tells me that I have to do it. Then we will see what suits us best, but for the moment he is only training.”
On the match against Real Madrid: “We said that we have had a year in which we have been a bit condemned in the penalty areas. We have not defended them as we have in the past and we have not made the few chances we have created. Throughout this season we have seen six or seven very clear scoring chances go begging, including two penalties, which have prevented us from scoring more points. Against Madrid I liked the team. The image was good but we were not happy because we lost. We have to go on, look ahead and correct the things we did not do well at the Bernabéu. Tomorrow we have a very tough Cup match and we have to have the highest level of commitment and personality.”
On facing Jon Perez Bolo (he spoke of the pride of facing Aguirre): “I always respect my colleagues in the profession. I think Jon (Perez Bolo) has worked hard, he has done great work and I will greet him with great affection. In this collective we have to help each other. We are like a different species and in that sense, I think we understand each other. I appreciate his words and I will tell him personally.
On the fixture schedule: I have a hard time speculating and imagining things. I'm quite pragmatic. I can't think beyond the Burgos game, which will be very hard-fought between two teams that run and fight a lot. Whoever makes the least mistakes will surely advance to the next round. And then we'll see what happens next. If the schedule is tight, I have 24/25 players. Tomorrow there will be several youth players with a lot of enthusiasm. If the schedule tightens up, I'm not too worried because I have a good enough team.
On Morlanes: I feel that all the players want to play and that's the job of the coach to choose the best 11 for a match. The players understand that we don't have anything personal against anyone because that would cause problems for ourselves. I feel that since there is a lot of equality, small details can be in favor or against one or the other. Manu's absence was an accident. I told my players to wrap up warm, to stay indoors as there are a lot of viruses these days and we have to take extreme precautions. Imagine a virus sneaking into the locker room and eliminating eight players. It already eliminated two plus six for Celta Vigo. Manu took advantage of his moments and others will have to wait. And when Manu is bad, he will go to the bench. This is the coach's job and the most difficult part: group management.”
On the first round: "We owe a lot. I think the team owes three or four more points. I am happy with the game. In two matches, maybe three, we were not up to the task, although there were not so bad moments in those three matches. There were also many draws that could have been victories: the one against Rayo, the one against Barcelona with a goal almost at the end? It is not a regret, but an evaluation. I do believe that we have a balance of three or four points against."
On the transfer window: "I am institutional. If the club believes that something is missing, they will sit down with me and we will evaluate what is there: if the market fits our budget, if the player who comes in comes to add to what we have. I think the team is what it is. In all lines we are balanced and I feel that the youth players have grown a lot and are ready to play in the league and the cup: Llabrés is in the first team, Luna, David (López), Quintanilla, Marcos (Fernández), Yuzún (Ley) – that is four or five guys that if we don't sign anyone will surely have their chances.”