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“The Copa del Rey excites us and we want to compete for it”
“The Copa del Rey excites us and we want to compete for it”

Unai Emery emphasised that Villarreal are going into the cup tie against SD Leioa with respect for the competition and the opposition

Villarreal manager Unai Emery analysed the cup opener against SD Leioa (Wednesday, 9pm CET) in this afternoon’s press conference: “These types of games are very dangerous. We’re playing away against a team that will be very motivated as playing against us will be very special. We have a lot of respect for Leioa and also for the competition. We have to match their level of motivation, as if it’s their day they’re a side that are capable of exploiting our weaknesses.”

The Yellows boss also touched on his entire squad’s hopes to do well in the Copa del Rey: “It excites us and we want to compete for it. This enthusiasm has to be strengthened in every game, competing to win every game. We want to have a good run in this competition.”

To face this Wednesday’s tie on Basque soil, Emery stated that he will set up with a reliable starting eleven: “We want to continue on the same track as we have been in the UEFA Europa League, backing a competitive block of players that have performed well in this competition. To maintain the balance between experienced and young players. To pick an eleven that lets us be competitive and motivated, giving us more resources on the pitch.”

Lastly, the Yellows boss talked about the sadness in the dressing room due to Vicente Iborra’s long-term injury, one of the team captains and key players for the Yellow Submarine: “It’s a really sad time. We’ve all wished him the best and have been able to speak with him. He’s a player that gives us a very high level of performance due to his strong involvement, physical condition and footballing intelligence. Now this setback, along with Coquelin’s injury, forces us to find solutions in that position and make our centre midfield solid and trustworthy.”