Real Oviedo Head Coach Cuco Ziganda appeared in the Press Room at El Requexón today ahead of Monday's encounter with Málaga CF.
Ahead of the game against the Andalusian side, the Coach admitted that "we've got some players wrapped up in cotton wool. Juanjo (Nieto) trained with the group yesterday and is joining back up with the squad little by little. There are still more than 48 hours to go until the match, and we will try to have Juanjo and Tejera available. There are players with knocks, but it's just fatigue. We will have them available, no problems."
Victory against Málaga this matchday would see Real Oviedo reach fifty points. Regarding this matter, Ziganda reasoned that "it's clear that 47 points aren't enough. We have to get three points and achieve survival. We have another opportunity on Monday and we are focused on it. It's in our own hands and we mustn't look at what's happening elsewhere. We need points and we are only thinking about Monday, because that's our next chance to get a win."
Regarding Monday night's opponent, Málaga, Ziganda is expecting it to be "a different game to the one in the first half of the season. They are a similar team to us and play well. Málaga have found it hard to get points at home but are reliable away from home and get good results. They are using young players. I see them as being similar to ourselves."
Asked about survival and the number of points the team from the capital of Asturias will need in order to secure it, the Gaffer said that "we all know how it all is, it's very tight. There are ten teams fighting to not go down, but we have an advantage. We have to get more points, and whoever gets to fifty points will be safe from relegation. This team has proven that it stands up when things get tough. We will battle. We are prepared for Monday's match."
With two games coming up in less than five days, Ziganda highlighted that "there will be changes between Monday and Thursday, there isn't the usual amount of recovery time. The whole squad is of a high enough level and we will rotate."
Asked about possibly renewing his contract to remain in charge of the club, the Coach reasoned that "the time to talk will come once survival is achieved. The club sets the timeframes and the rest of the employees have to be available to the project and the decisions made. The important thing is the club. First we have to stay up and then the sooner decisions are made, the better for everyone. It has to be a matter of pride for us all to be here. The club has to decide whether it wants me to continue or not. No coach nor player is in a position to set terms to Real Oviedo. Everyone needs to work hand in hand." In addition, asked for an evaluation on the season, the Gaffer reiterated that "once it's all over I will make that reflection. We need points, and we mustn't get distracted until we've achieved survival."
Finally, ahead of the possible return of fans to football stadiums, Ziganda commented that "on one hand we all want that to happen because of the backing they give us every day from home, and because they are desperate to attend matches. On the other hand, we are at the end of the season and everyone has a lot at stake. It's dangerous, because it helps those who are playing important matches. It changes the conditions of the league. I think it should be thought through carefully, because some teams may lose out because of it."