Ready to take a big step
Ready to take a big step

Javi Calleja and Daniele Bonera are cautiously optimistic ahead of the clash with SK Rapid Vienna

Villarreal head coach Javi Calleja underlined that he believes his side is ready for the important European tie this Thursday against SK Rapid Vienna (6:55pm CET). “The team is in a good place. For me, the players are ready and prepared mentally. We are expecting a difficult tie against an opponent that’s hoping for a lot in Europe this year. I’m sure the match will be very difficult for us in front of their fans,” he analysed.

For Calleja, getting the three points is very important: “A win would leave us en route to qualify for the next round, and above all, it would be in our own hands. We’re aware of the step we would take. The first thing we can think of is winning tomorrow, and from there, carry on growing as a team.”

In the last meeting between the two sides, Villarreal beat Rapid Vienna at the Estadio de la Cerámica, but that will not mean the Yellow Submarine are relaxed: “You can’t live in the past, not in the good times or the bad times. It’s a different match from the one at the Estadio de la Cerámica. We’ve forgotten that match and we’re focused on getting three more points,” affirmed Calleja.

Analysing the upcoming opponent, the manager underlined that the Austrian side can vary their style: “The main way Rapid play is to play the ball out from the back, keeping a lot of possession. We also have to be prepared to defend plays from long balls. We will play in the style we’ve been working on and our idea is to cause problems for our opponent.”

Bonera: “It’s always difficult to win away from home”

Italian defender Daniele Bonera also warned about the Austrian side’s potential: “We have to face the match in a positive way. I’m expecting a difficult game. The result at the Estadio de la Cerámica was fair, but I think Rapid are a good side. What’s more, winning away from home is difficult, and even more so in European competition.”

Bonera underlined that both him and his team-mates have worked hard to be ready for the match: “We’re ready. We know that Rapid have technical players, but that they also use long balls. They can play either way.”

Finally, Bonera asserted that everyone needs to do their bit to help to keep on progressing in the competition: “I’m keen to help. I understand my role in the team perfectly. We all have to be conscious of the support of every team-mate, not only from the more experienced players like me. We don’t have to focus on age.”