“We need to compete in Croatia to go through”
“We need to compete in Croatia to go through”

Unai Emery underlined the team’s attitude and looked to experience for the second leg of the tie

The Villarreal head coach spoke to the media at the press conference after the 4-2 win in the first leg of the UEFA Conference League play-off against Hajduk Split. The Basque manager spoke about the details that decided the match and the performance of José Luis Morales.

Assessment of the match

“We talked about the importance of Europe, what it gives you and what a play-off means against a team with history, with football tradition and with players of great level like Hajduk. Everything happened. They scored a goal against us, we were able to recover and turn it around. At the start of the second half we conceded more than we should have and then we had chances. We made changes to try to find something more, but we didn’t manage it. With the 4-2 scoreline, they see themselves with options in front of their fans and in their stadium. We have to go there to compete and play a game with a tight result.”

Pressure and demands

“Every game is different, we have gained experience and learned to know how to act against all our opponents. The team has internalised that and we’re going to have to use that resource in Croatia. We conceded more than we wanted to and that’s why we have to keep demanding.”

Ambitious objectives

“We always set ourselves ambitious goals and play to be better. It’s not easy to improve on last year and even less so at European level. To improve in the Conference would be to reach the final, but first we have to get through this qualifier and go step by step. In LaLiga we can improve and we want to get better than seventh place. We have points of motivation to hold on to and today we have started one in this Conference League qualifier.”

About José Luis Morales

“Morales’ performance was very good. He scored, he worked hard and it was his best game so far. This opens our eyes to be demanding with him.”.

Thank you, groguets

“I would like to thank everyone who travelled. There have been a good number of fans and they have made us feel that we are at home and that they want this competition.”