"We have to take it as an 11-game League"
David Lopez accepts that "it's a huge challenge, with a lot of physical and mental fatigue, but we're going to smash it"
We have a league of only 11 games ahead of us. That idea, expressed today by David Lopez, is the one that comes closest to the reality of the first team in this phase of preparation before competition begins.
The Catalan player admits that the footballers are "tired" because of the "workload, but it's feeling good". There is little time left before competing again, "and we have to keep an eye on avoiding injuries. Three weeks is a short time, but we're getting better and better. It will be an 11-day League with risk of injury. We have to take it day by day."
He says the last match, in Pamplona, "hurt us and left us stuck", so this new situation "can be a reset, and benefit us." However, he makes no secret of the fact that some of his teammates "had a really hard time" after being infected with COVID-19. "Now we have to start all over again, and some of them are still not at our level. We need everyone, even more so with these 11 match days so close together", he said, and considers that "all players must give their all. No one will be able to hold back."
He acknowledges that they are facing "a huge challenge. It will entail a lot of physical and mental wear and tear. We have to be ready. We're going to really give it our all to make it happen."
He does not forget, either, that the new situation means matches will be played without an audience, something that will make everything "more difficult, but we are convinced that, despite the obstacles, we will have to forge ahead."
David asserts that "the competition has been distorted because there will be many changes compared to a normal season", and that therefore "we have a very significant challenge ahead. We have to bring out all the weapons so that it doesn't get to us. We must be prepared."
In the same way, he stresses again that "the first game will be very important. The first ones will really set us up, but we shouldn't be obsessing about them every match day either. We have to give all of them the same importance. We have to take this as an 11-game League, and they will all be of equal value. There will be direct rivals, but we mustn't fall prey to this because it could lead to more stress, and that wouldn't be good either."
He assures us that he enjoyed the qualification for Europa last year, "even though I was injured and experienced it in a different way", and says that "we are aware that if we achieve the objective this season, it will be remembered historically" because it has been a year "in which all sorts of things have happened to us."
He acknowledges that the fear of possible contagion "is inevitable. In the community we all feel a certain degree of fear when we go to the supermarket, or out for a walk with our children. In football I am with people with whom I cannot maintain social distance, I cannot wear a mask or wash my hands. There's nothing we can do about that. There are players who complain about this, but I tell my teammates that we've had a very tough two months and now we have to be more cautious than ever.