Jose Luis Mendilibar has lavished praise on Sunday visitors Levante, but declared that his struggling Osasuna could beat them.
Los Rojillos are without a win this term after a disastrous start to the League campaign. Heading into Week 6 they are with just a single point to their name and face a team that Mendilibar has great respect for.
“They are a great team, that nobody likes, but they do incredibly well,” exclaimed the Coach today.
“They don’t play around with the ball, but they are in Europe, winning, relaxed and they know how they can play, which is the most important thing in the world.
“I think that they are a team that is clear of their place in the League and so they do what they do, they are great. They are very well structured, things are very clear there.”
Despite his admiration for their strengths and last week’s declaration that his own team are currently not fit for top flight football, Mendilibar has room for optimism for an Osasuna win.
“Often the results generate mistrust. Hopefully we are relaxed. You have to play when calm, do what we have to do and particularly not give anything away, and that is the way that we can win against Levante.
“The players are not nervous, they are confident enough to play. I spoke to them this week and told them they are good enough.
“We are looking for tranquillity and conviction, we will see that on the pitch. Conviction will many times get you the result on the pitch.
“Negativity can take away you faith, but I hope it has not been long enough for negativity to take away our belief.”
The 51-year-old didn’t take too kindly to being asked if the run of the results will prompt him to change his approach.
“Either I am a chump or I have been coaching for many years. The idea of football has changed very little since I started coaching, having gone through all the facets.
“If I have gotten to this stage then I am here for a reason. I do not want to change our style of football, but I want the players to be convinced to always play it well.”
Osasuna squad to play Levante: Andres Fernandez, Asier Riesgo, Oier Sanjurjo, Arribas, Miguel Flano, Nano, Lolo, Echaide, Annan, Timor, Cejudo, Armenteros, Sisi, Lamah, Raoul Loe, Nino, Kike Sola, Llorente