Real Betis will provide a stern test for Malaga this weekend, believes Joaquin Sanchez, but one he says they are up to.
Heading into Week 6’s Andalusian derby, Malaga are currently unbeaten and sit two points and two places above Pepe Mel’s side.
Even so, Joaquin is respectful of the challenge he anticipates the Costa del Sol side facing this Saturday evening.
“These games have that essence of an Andalusian derby in which, although we are early in the season, both teams are going to want to win,” enthused the former Betis winger to reporters today.
“For me these are always special matches, beautiful, for my past there and for everything experienced there. Both teams will want to win this.
“We need the victory so as to make good on the draw last week at Bilbao. This game will be difficult.
“For some time now Betis have been playing good football, with very decisive players and they are a team that develop their play from the back, and they are always difficult to face.
“They will be hard to beat, they always make it complicated for opponents, they already showed that here last year.”
In the corresponding fixture last term, Real Betis ran out of La Rosaleda 2-0 winners, but even so, Joaquin is not expecting a repeat.
“Malaga are going through a good spell at the moment and we have to go out this Saturday in the same way, being a strong team from the very start that will do as much damage as possible as quickly as possible, because if Betis feel comfortable with the ball then we can suffer.”
The team are currently unbeaten this term, but their veteran winger suggests that isn’t important.
“We are not thinking about the run, only about work and effort as being essential to produce an important season, to fight at our best and step by step in a year where our ambition is to go far in three competitions.
“The team is confident, is ambitious and this won’t change if we keep believing. The important thing is that you feel important and confident in the workplace and contribute.
“The team competes and trains and you have to always be at 200 per cent, otherwise it is difficult to keep pace.
“The thing is to enjoy it, and to try to take Malaga the farthest we and the fans have seen.”