Benítez: “We play at home and that is a great advantage”


The RC Celta coach, Rafa Benítez, assured this Monday that the “great advantage” for the Galicians in the quarterfinals of the 2023-2024 Copa del Rey against Real Sociedad is playing the match “at home”, in addition to the “excitement” and the “motivation” involved in playing a duel of these characteristics, although he recalled that the Basque team is a “very strong” team with a “very defined” system and work dynamics.

“We have a great advantage and that is that we play at home with our fans. Now it is an exciting situation, we have done well in the Cup and this would be to do it even better. The fans come to help the team in a positive way and that is our advantage. We have many factors in our favor: field, crowd, enthusiasm, motivation,” said the coach in the press conference prior to the cup match.

Benítez praised the celestial public, who “is behaving very well” in the entity's centenary season. “We can't say anything to the public, they are always supporting, behind the team, and they are now for something positive, because we can go ahead in the Cup. I hope that that joy and motivation that they want to transmit to us from the beginning is reflected in the field and we are all happy,” he added.

Along with the support of the fans, Benítez hoped that the state of the grass would not be a “problem” in the match this Tuesday (9:30 p.m.). “They tell us that it should improve with time, settling, if the climate also helps. We cannot change it. The measures that have to be taken from a functional point of view will be taken. We have to accept it and try not to use it as an excuse , although it can harm you,” he said.

Celta and Real Sociedad will meet just three days later and on the same stage, after the Basques' victory in Balaídos this Saturday on matchday 21 of LaLiga EA Sports, a duel that Benítez has not “stopped” analyzing. “We have given it a lot of thought. I'm not stupid, we know it's difficult and what we have to look for is how to hurt them. Brais's (Méndez) goal is a very good goal, from a player with a lot of quality,” he analyzed from 0 -1 in League.

“The difference between this match and the League match is that in the League you have to go for the 3 points and you're thinking about that, but if you tie maybe that's the case. Not here, here you have to win, and that somehow changes “The approach. You have to find a balance,” he commented on how to approach the cup match, with the ticket to the semifinals at stake.

The Madrid coach, 63, insisted that his approach “depends a lot on how the players are” and their physical freshness, always wanting to “maintain the pace” that Real Sociedad will impose. “There are players who have discomfort and bruises. We are going to see what is most appropriate in terms of players, disposition, quality and trying to compensate with each other. There is no predetermined idea of ​​playing with those who played the other game because it is Cup,” he explained.

“Larssen came out with a blow to his leg, another's ankle or calves were bothering him,” he expressed about the physical state of the squad, before ensuring that the Spanish full-back Javier Manquillo, the Galicians' brand new signing, “is not ” to play this Tuesday. “He's fine, but now we have to work with him to put himself in a position to play minutes in high competition,” he said.

Regarding Real, Benítez highlighted that it is “a very strong team” that has been “working in the same way for a long time”, with “defined systems” and “a work dynamic and a way of playing that has been the same for many years.” . “That's a big advantage,” he acknowledged.

“They can repeat defense of five, but they have been playing 4-3-3 for a long time, they have done well. That is the advantage you have when you have automation, that it is easier to change things. We think that they are going to follow the line than what they usually do, but with either system they have shown that they have been strong and we have to work,” he added about Imanol Alguacil's team.

Finally, Benítez indicated that he is “not” concerned that this Cup quarterfinal duel will make them lose focus on the League. “Game by game, we have room to recover. Anything that involves winning always gives you a stimulus and you have to try to win. We are facing a very difficult opponent that has quality, that has intensity, but we are going to go to the field to try to win” , he settled.