Real Sociedad’s Asier Illarremendi says he enjoyed his midfield role alongside Ruben Pardo at Malaga last week.
The Txuri-urdin emerged 2-1 victors at La Rosaleda with Illarremendi turning in a particularly impressive performance, something he puts down to Pardo’s presence in Philippe Montanier’s central midfield.
“It’s true I felt very comfortable with Pardo at my side. Malaga did not press us like other sides and I liked the way in which we had time to play the ball,” he told a Press conference.
“We played with two in the middle and won, but I know it won’t always be like that. People say we did well but when we lose they can also be critical. That’s part of football.
“Pardo, as well as myself and the rest of the players, knows we can improve and we’ll be doing everything we can to achieve that.”
However, Illarremendi believes that although his role against Malaga worked he is aware that every game is different.
“As I said, I enjoyed it there, but all matches aren’t the same and on another day maybe I wouldn’t enjoy it so much. Right now, I’m in that position and against Rayo [Vallecano] this weekend I hope it goes as well as it did against Malaga.”
Illarramendi then explained his role in the side and the way he functions.
“It depends on who I’m playing with but if I’m playing deeper, with players such as Pardo or [Xabi] Prieto at my side, then I tend not to go forward as much and play more of a holding role.
“If I’m playing with someone who is more defensive, like Markel [Bergara] or [Gorka] Elustondo, then that gives me more freedom to attack.”
La Real now face Rayo and Osasuna in successive games at Anoeta and Illarremendi feels it could be an opportunity to advance up the table.
“We have two matches at home in a week and we hope to take advantage of that to make a leap up the League, like we have done on other occasions when we have spoken about it.”