Villarreal manager Javi Calleja is optimistic ahead of hosting Real Madrid
A big match. Villarreal manager Javi Calleja underlined his trust in his team ahead of the match against Real Madrid this Sunday (9pm CEST): “There aren’t many games tougher. They’re a team that have a lot of quality to win LaLiga. We have to trust in what we’ve got and not gift them anything because they can make the most of gifts. It’s a match of the highest difficulty, but I’m positive. The team is working well and that makes me optimistic,” he commented.
For Calleja, the team’s performance against Levante gives him optimism: “The only negative thing about the match against Levante was the result. The team played really well. We lacked that ability to score another goal when we were on top. We caused a lot of problems for Levante. I was really happy and that’s how we hope to set up the Madrid match.”
Regarding the upcoming opponent, the head coach warned about Real Madrid’s dangers: “Madrid have a number of important players out of action. But then you see those who are going to play and you realise the potential they have. They’re definitely top players, players used to winning everything. But I’m more worried about is, and what we do. Our identity has to win us matches. Madrid don’t wait for anyone, they always try and win matches from the start. They will try and dominate from kick-off, although one of their best qualities will be running into space. We’ll have to be very attentive to players who drift off.”
Calleja preferes not to speak about refereeing decisions: “We’ve worked all week to get to the game in the best conditions possible. We’ve forgotten the refereeing decisions and we’re totally focused in the match. What we have to do is focus on the sporting stuff and wish the referee luck. We will try and make it easy for him on the pitch.”
The path to take against Real Madrid is clear: “The best way to defend is with the ball. Against Levante we dominated a lot and it’s the best way to defender. Getting a win would be very important mentally. It would take a bit of a weight off our shoulders. Regardless of the result that we get, we know everything’s only just getting underway. To be at the top you need to dominate everything. We’re getting to the box with a lot of danger and we’re scoring a lot. That has to help us stop conceding many chances. We can’t gift penalties or lose concentration from corners. We have to find solutions to make the wins arrive,” Calleja concluded.
To listen to Calleja’s full press conference in Spanish, just click on the play logo above the main photo.