“I am sure that we are going to save Hermannstadt,” said Rubén Albés after landing in Romania to take the reins of the Sibiu club. And not only did he save him, but he also had a superb season finale – five wins, two draws and two losses – that allowed Anamaria Prodan, owner of the entity, breastfeed for his bet for the bench. After a short summer – barely 20 days elapsed between the end of one season and the start of the next – with little change in the roster, Hermannstadt maintained a firm footing in the Romanian First Division. “I'm doing much better than I expected when I decided to go abroad. Adapting is not easy and the credit you have is less, “says Albés after drawing against UTA Arad.” After two years fighting not to be relegated, the objective is to enter the 'play-off' for the title “, adds the coach Galician, aware that it will be “tremendously difficult” to meet this goal.
It will be difficult, but if there is a way forward, that is the one Hermannstadt is traveling. In the first seven days of League 1, Rubén Albés's team has achieved two victories, four draws and one defeat that place him sixth, ready to reach the final stretch of the season without the worry of fighting to avoid relegation. “If the players do not believe in their virtues, it is difficult for them to do something on the field. We have made them feel that they have a chance to be higher. The emotional factor has been fundamental to get to face each game with the intention of winning it”, reveals Albés, who has managed to maintain the emotional revolution that his landing on the Sibiu bench meant over time: “When a new coach arrives, the reaction is instantaneous. Everyone is hopeful. The difficult thing is to maintain that attitude over time. Turning the mirage into reality”.
From the first moment, the arrival of Rubén Albés to the Hermannstadt bench generated a feeling of family that has encouraged the team in the most difficult stages. “On a human level, the dressing room is spectacular. We all feel that we are in the same boat and that connection makes us make a difference. I believe in my footballers and my footballers believe in me”, estimates Albés, who He has only lost one of his last 14 games in charge of the Romanian team: “We believe we are a better team than we were, but we know that our obligation is to achieve as many points as possible. It would be a dream to fight with the best, but that is still a long way off.” It is the best streak of results in the history of the club, which was founded in 2015 and reached the elite only three years later, although its best result in League 1 is the eighth position achieved last year.
Rubén Albés, whose 'staff' complete Ivan Cabezuelo (assistant) and Toni Madrigal (physical trainer), confesses to having been “pleasantly surprised” by the level of the Romanian First Division. “When you are in Spain you think that our football is the best and that everything else practically does not exist, but in Romania there is a brutal generation of young footballers”, assesses the Vigo coach, tested in recent weeks by other clubs in the country and by the always wealthy Asian market: “It's something that doesn't add up: if you listen to a lot of things, your ego fattens up.” For the moment, Rubén Albés' day-to-day lives in the Transylvania region, where he hopes to lead Hermannstadt towards the best results of its still short and modest history.