Abelardo argues that "we have to do better and I think the team can do it. We all have faith and we’re very excited”
A week before returning from the competition, Abelardo wishes he had more time to prepare the team, but he is satisfied with the players' commitment and training, although he cannot specify at what point the preparation is "after two months without training."
He assures that he has “a very difficult challenge” ahead, but he is clear that “if we achieve salvation it would be an important milestone.” That is why he argues that “it is the start of an 11-match League. I don't like to talk about 11 finals. I'm only interested in the Alavés match. We have to score points to stay in the fight." And he adds: "It'll get a lot worse if we lose, but if we win we'll be closer. It'll be a great match.”
He notes that he doesn't think about the start of the first match being delayed by an hour, "but I do think of us having one less day of rest when we play against Getafe and Levante."
He insists that there is still a lot of championship left and sums it up with a clear: "We can either fight or go home. I am one of those who will fight. We're going to fight to the death. We're going to try to get out of this situation, anyway, without an audience or with problems. We're not giving up. Perico players have the spirit of never giving up, and I am Asturian, I'm the kind of guy who doesn't give up. The Reconquista started there."
He admits that it will be "a different League" due to all the constraints and explains that he likes the option of having five substitutions, "although that always benefits the big teams."
He reaffirms that when he arrived at Espanyol, “he knew he had to get a Champions League score. We need to get better, but I think the team can do it. We all have faith and we're very excited about meeting this challenge. I'm sure it's going to be fine."
He comments that the forced confinement "has cleared our minds", and considers that "we have to adapt to this 11-match format" and points out that "I would love to have the audience in the field. Soccer without an audience is another soccer. The most beautiful thing is to see the atmosphere in the fields, but the circumstances are what they are.”