Villarreal manager Javi Calleja underlined this morning that the face that the team depends on itself in the last three games to get European football next season is important. Next up is a game against Real Sociedad this Monday (7:30pm CEST, Estadio de la Cerámica): "It's two direct rivals facing each other, two teams that want to play in Europe next season. If we beat Real Sociedad, we will have achieved that, and we don't depend on anyone else to get that spot. We just need to finish the job."
The head coach believes the team is full of confidence: "We're confident going into this game and we're pleased with the security being high up the table and depending on yourself gives you. But we know that we've still got to face Real Sociedad, a team that are having a great season, with great players, and they will make things hard for us for sure," he underlined.
For Calleja, the Yellows being fifth in the league at the moment is thanks to the hard work that they have put in all season: "Being where we are is thanks to the hard work all year round, hard work from all the team, and not only after lockdown. After lockdown, we've been at our best, but we're like that because of the hard work throughout the season. We've done a great job, we've grown and we've always trusted in what we're doing. We just need to kill it off, it's the final stretch, and the truth is if it wasn't such a united group, we wouldn't have been able to get out of the tough moments. The dressing room has constantly strengthened in terms of relationships and certainty that we all have."
The Villarreal head coach is expecting a great game: "I'm expecting a good game, for them and for us, having the ball and control of the game through possession is important, so I'm expecting a great tie. The two teams have quality players who are good with the ball at their feet, so I'm expecting a game like the Getafe one, one to grow into and not rush. It will be a game where you need to choose well whether you should have longer attacks or be more direct, we'll see if they allow us space or they press us high up. We shouldn't rush, as they'll be in a rush."
Regarding the opponent, Calleja warned of their danger: "I like how Real Sociedad play a lot. I like their initiative, what they propose and their ideas. They're a team that create chances against you, they make you run after the ball and they always have chances to win the game. It's true that after the break they have had fewer points than what they deserve, but for me they're one of the best teams in LaLiga."
If Villarreal win, they will secure their place in the Europa League next season. "Our objective is in our reach, what's most important is winning and hoping to secure fifth. We don't want to be in the qualifying rounds and we'll try and confirm that as soon as possible. There's not much left, but it's not done yet. We've got the final straight ahead of us and we're focused on getting the job done," he finalised.
To see Calleja's full pre-match press conference in Spanish, click play.