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Emery: “The Girona game will be tougher than previous rounds”
Emery: “The Girona game will be tougher than previous rounds”

The Villarreal head coach underlined that the Catalan side have experienced players in the top flight of Spanish football, and have a lot of quality

Villarreal head coach appeared in front of the media to analyse the Copa del Rey Round of 16 tie against Girona FC (9pm CET).

Girona, a tough opponent for the Round of 16

 “We’re full of excitement going into the Copa del Rey. We have a positive trajectory. Each round, it gets more difficult, and Girona will demand more from us than our previous opponents. They are a team who will demand more from us than previous opponents. They have had a good run in the Copa del Rey. They knocked out Cádiz, who are a top-flight side, and CD Lugo too, a team in the same league as them. In the first round, they beat Gimnástica Segoviana.”

Excited for the Copa del Rey

“We want to take a step further in the Round of 16. We’re excited about the chance of having a nice journey in the Copa del Rey, and we want to continue taking steps that help us to grow as a team.”

Improving in attack

“We’re going into the game on the back of two draws in LaLiga and we need to think about the Copa del Rey. We want to improve in the final third, and be capable of being more efficient in tighter spaces, whether it be with more presence or quality in that area, as well as being able to create more dangerous goalscoring situations.”

Contenders, but not favourites

“The favourites are FC Barcelona, Sevilla FC, Athletic Club and Real Sociedad. Because of their tradition and their trajectory, they are the main candidates for the cup. From there, there are teams that can compete too, like Valencia, Real Betis and ourselves. We will all have our chances, and we want to be there. To do that, we need to be trusty and continue taking positive steps forward.”

Rotations to go far in three competitions

“We’ve been rotating players, trying to deal best with players not getting overloaded, and having the right performance depending on what each competition demands of us. The accumulation of games and the increased demand in the Copa del Rey and the Europa League will force us to go for solutions that give us guarantees, combining youngsters with more experienced players. We try and go into each game with the best solutions we have available to us.”

The keys to winning the tie

“It will be key for us to impose our positioning on the pitch with and without the ball. We need to stop them from creating many chances against us, and try and counter their play with more presence in their area, and being effective in front of goal. Take control of the game and of individual duels will be crucial for winning the knockout tie.”