On the eve of RCD Espanyol's home game against Sevilla FC this weekend, coach Diego Martínez spoke in a pre-match press conference following the team's final training session. He responded to the suggestion that the visitors are walking wounded following a downturn in fortunes in LaLiga and Europe, and stated that he is expecting a tough match at the RCDE Stadium.
"They are a Champions League team, with a squad full of internationally capped players, with a great coach and, as I know that place very well, I can say that it is now when it is most difficult and dangerous to face them," he warned.
"We have to have serenity, honesty and humility in our everyday work. Speeches have to be accompanied by actions, which will be what will keep our excitement going," Martínez said when asked about the boost the win over Athletic Club had given his team.
"After a victory, everything is easier. That win helps, but It will be necessary to sweat blood to score points. It is wonderful to be an Espanyol fan. The idiosyncrasy of being a 'Perico' is rebelling against adversity."
"Any statistics are largely anecdotal after four games, but I've been pleased to see the team progressing and improving. Getting points will be difficult, but it will also be exciting. I love seeing a team give their all and wanting to improve and grow. This team feels that, transmits it and spreads that message," he reflected.
Asked about the captaincy situation, the coach revealed that he wants to have "23-24 captains in the squad."
“Leadership is about everyone. That is what matters most to me: Regardless of age or experience, you have to respect the values of the club and represent them.”
As a former assistant at Sevilla, Martínez has a connection with this weekend's opponents, but he is putting that to one side to focus on the task at hand.
"I'm not going to talk about my feelings towards Sevilla now. My time there had an impact on me -I was there for eight years- but tomorrow we both want to win the game. We're very excited and we want to have a complete game and pick up the three points. I wish them the best -as long as it doesn't affect my team."