With 30 years of age in July, Ximo Navarro has reached sporting maturity. His sobriety and versatility have earned him the trust of Pablo Machin, which is counting on him assiduously in this competitive start.
His current form is excellent and against Athletic he was one of the main standouts in defensive work. Now, with four points in five games, he is confident in the possibilities of his squad to defeat Elche. “We know and talk in the locker room that it will be an important match, because we are facing a direct rival and at home we have to get the points”, assumed yesterday at the end of morning training.
The babazorro looks especially at his squad when analyzing the duel. “We have to focus on ourselves, because if we are serious and have a good game, we have nuances to win,” he said convinced.
Despite being recently promoted, Elche has bet hard to reinforce itself on its return to the First Division, being one of the clubs that has signed the most in this atypical market. “They have moved a lot and have incorporated quite a few players in the last day, but that does not have to matter to us and we must focus on ourselves,” said the albiazul.
Ask for time
The Andalusian, of course, asks for time for the squad to adapt to the newcomer's method Pablo Machin. “This break has served to better assimilate the concepts of the coach and to progress,” he emphasizes, aware that “there are still many things to improve as a team.”
Like the players, the new coach also lives his particular adaptation process. Little by little, he is getting to know his players more and finding ways to get the most out of them. “Against Athletic we played a great game. We defended with a line of four and, with the ball, we made a defense of three “, he remembered. “Being able to vary and make two systems in the same game is an advantage,” he said, convinced of the potential of the current squad, who took advantage of the break to “disconnect” and put aside the bad streak broken with the victory against Athletic.
Getting used to the new system takes its toll. “When playing with three backs and lanes, it is more difficult to press, because it is man to man and with the lines well advanced. We were not used to them and that cost us a few goals, “he argued, convinced that the team” improved a lot “in the derby. “Hopefully it gives us confidence to win on Sunday,” he said.
Given the competitive start and the team's problems to assimilate the 1-3-5-2, Pablo Machin He hit the key when deciding to change to a 1-4-4-2 more common in recent years in Mendizorrotza. He did it at the start of the second half against Granada, on the second day. From there, apart from the bad afternoon against Villarreal, Alavés have clearly improved.
In Granada, Ximo Navarro Y Ruben Duarte They entered the second half and, despite losing, the team won in balance. Both footballers stand out for their versatility, since they can act as central and lateral. “I am lucky to be able to play in two positions and I do not care one or the other,” remarked the Albiazul defender.
Against Elche, due to the losses in the rear, his contest seems fundamental. Either as a central in a line of three or as a lateral or central if he plays with four behind, he is called to lead the Gasteiztarra defense this Sunday. Thanks to its remarkable performance, it is one of those that has already earned the full confidence of Pablo Machin.