‘Espanyol one of the strongest’

Paco Jemez is expecting a tough game for Rayo Vallecano in facing Espanyol this weekend, a team he describes as ‘one of the strongest I have seen’.

Los Periquitos are languishing in bottom spot in the Division, but in preparing to face them on Sunday, Jemez is insistent that they are capable of giving Rayo a tough 90 minutes.

“When a team like Espanyol starts badly, it is clear that they should raise their game against us almost as if it were a final, because if they do not pull it off, they will find themselves in a difficult situation,” he mused to reporters today.

“They need the win and will push forward for it. Yet, what I have seen of them on the field does not translate into the table, what has happened is they caught a bad run and now find themselves looking down.

“Espanyol are a team that when they lose possession they work hard, press well and steal the ball back. I stress the intensity that they put into the game, they are able to maintain that for long periods. We have to be at 2000 per cent.

“They are one of the strongest teams I have seen. I like this sort of challenge and I know they are going to make things difficult.

“We will find the matches will be more difficult as we go on. From the onset Sunday will be exciting, because they need to give their fans something. We have to go out and not speculate and we cannot let them play, with the ball, because then we will not be able to dominate.”

Rayo are statistically reported to be third in La Liga in terms of average possession held in games so far this season.

“This is good because I want my team to have the ball, because the more time you have it, the more damage you can do.

“To be the third team with most possession is a source of pride and satisfaction, it must continue. Then, it is finishing chances that is more complicated. We can be successful, we have the talent to translate it into goals.”

Tags Paco Jemez