Villarreal’s coach, Unai Emery, highlighted the requirement of the ‘Submarino’ for the 2022/23 season, so that “improving in Europe would mean reaching the final of the Conference League”, a competition in which the ‘groguet’ team began their journey this Thursday by knocking down Croatian Hajduk Split (4-2) to put their ticket to the group stage of the continental competition on track.

“We set ourselves ambitious goals and work to be better. Improving what we did last season or the previous one is not easy, especially at European level. Having the Conference, improving would mean reaching the final and what it means is difficult. We have to go step by step.” step”, explained Emery in the press conference after the first clash of the European qualifying round.

In this line, the coach acknowledged that they must improve in LaLiga Santander, where they have finished seventh in the last two seasons, and “have the illusion” of the Copa del Rey, points of motivation where “grab” for the ‘Submarino’.

“Everything has happened in 90 minutes. They have scored a goal as a product of what they are, and we have been able to regroup and turn the score around with forcefulness. In the second half we have conceded more than we should have. Then we have been able to score more goals. Finally they got hooked and ended up respecting us with the 4-2, seeing themselves with options to come back in their stadium in front of their fans”, he pointed out about the match.

A meeting that has meant Villarreal’s first great night at the Ciutat de València, the new ‘home’ of the ‘Submarino’ while the remodeling works are being carried out at the Estadio de la Cerámica. In fact, eleven thousand ‘groguets’ have attended the European duel this Thursday.

“Thank you very much to those displaced from Villarreal to the stadium to watch the game. There were a good number of fans who make us feel that we are at home and that they love this competition. It has been a very positive response,” explained Emery.

Precisely, José Luis Morales was the protagonist of the match with two goals in his favorite territory, where the ‘granota’ fans enjoyed his goals so many afternoons. “Today we talked about how we had to feel at home and Morales had to guide us. He has done it with goals and hard work. He makes us optimistic about him,” he added.

Now, the ‘Submarino’ has a two-goal advantage before the second leg, which will be played next Thursday in Croatia. “We have to give continuity to the confidence of the players and to what we have done in the preseason. The positive part is that we are determined that the game remains to be played”, recognized the coach of the Castellón team.

“Each game is different, the circumstances determine the course of the match. We have acquired experience and learned how we should behave against all rivals. The team has internalized it and we must be capable of not granting options, today it was not like that. Situations that we must control, be it Juventus, Bayern or Hajduk Split,” he concluded.