Real Betis boss Pepe Mel has warned of the danger of underestimating Espanyol when the teams meet at the Benito Villamarin on Saturday.
The Catalans have taken just one point from a possible 12 so far this season and Mel is aware that the desire for Mauricio Pochettino’s men to register their first win is becoming vital.
“Their need is urgent and that makes them dangerous,” said Mel, who appeared before reporters before taking charge of a training session behind closed doors.
“Against Athletic Bilbao last week they could have won, which shows they are a very good team. They were always in the game and that means they are very competitive.
“However, a win for us would secure our place in the table.”
The Andalusians currently lie seventh in La Liga with a game in hand due to the postponement of their fixture with Atletico Madrid, but Mel admitted that his team did not play well in their only home game so far when they lost to Rayo Vallecano.
Nonetheless, as he pointed out, ‘what matters are the points and a third win for us would be a great start’.
Mel also commented on the two new signings that joined the team just before the end of the transfer deadline, French-Polish defender Damien Perquis and Nigerian midfielder Nosa Igiebor.
“Perquis has trained very little because he has since been with his national team, while Igiebor comes from a League [Israeli] that is very different to ours and the important thing is that he is comfortable and gives us some great performances.
“Even so, the language of football is universal and we will be patient with him because we want him to explode [on the scene].”
The 49-year-old also explained why he left Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell out of his squad for the game with Real Valladolid last Monday.
“I’ve got 26 players and if I pick him then I need to leave somebody else out.”