In today’s press conference, the Villarreal Manager, Javi Calleja, and midfielder Pablo Fornals analysed tomorrow’s European clash against FC Astana (Thursday, 5pm CET). The Yellows boss emphasised that the Submarine are approaching this match as though it were “a final”: “For us it’s a final. If we win, we’ll finish top of our group and get through to the knockout stages, with a game in hand, but it’s not as simple as that. We know it’s going to be tough and we’re not going to hold back”.
Likewise, Calleja talked about FC Astana’s potential, highlighting two of their players in particular: “For me, Twumasi and Kabananga give Astana that bit extra. They’re two very skilful players”.
“External factors like the long trip, the temperature and the pitch are factors that don’t favour of us, but I know this team and they are not going to let anything be an excuse, they’ll just make up for those things with hard work”, the Manager commented.
To finish, Javi Calleja wanted to express his support for Sevilla FC Manager, Berizzo, after his cancer diagnosis.
For his part, Pablo Fornals assured that it will be an “intense” match, similar to the meeting at the Estadio de la Cerámica. “We expect a tough match like we faced in Vila-real. We’re only focusing on playing our game and doing what we do best to get the win”. In addition, the Castellón-born midfielder talked about the Kazakh side’s good run of form since the two teams met last: “They’ve grown a lot as a team. We will try to continue with our style of play and we will see what the match brings, but we’re not intimated by their good dynamic in European football”.
Lastly, the Yellows number 8 talked about the Astana Arena, tomorrow night’s stage for the European tie: “Every stadium has its different features. This stadium has artificial grass, but we’ll adapt to it”.