‘Rayo aiming for survival first’

Raul Martin Presa has affirmed that Rayo Vallecano are thinking towards guaranteeing League survival before dreaming of European qualification.

Rayo are spending the holiday period in a strong eighth place in La Liga, after ending the calendar year with wins over Valencia and Levante.

Even with the team sat just two points behind Los Granotes in the final Europa League position, Presa is keen to point to pre-season expectations to ground Rayo.

“We have to keep our feet on the ground more than ever, we should be blinded by the results, the objective is still survival and until we have enough points to stay in the Division we will not think about anything else,” he told Europa Press today.

“Last year during the second round of fixtures, in Week 28, the team was within three points of the Champions League and at the end, with a goal in the last minute, we miraculously survived relegation.

“The season is very long and can take a bump, we have to try not to drop. We need look no further.”

Rayo begin the year with their two final games of the first round of League fixtures, playing at home to Getafe on the Monday night of Week 18 before travelling out to Athletic Bilbao on the Friday night of Week 19.

“We have to pick up points, look at it game by game. Getafe will be complicated. They have 24 points and have great players.

“They have been in the Primera Division for nine years and in none of them, except one, have they struggled to avoid relegation and they have competed in the UEFA Cup Final and two finals in the Copa del Rey.

“The match is in our ground and after the holiday break we are also playing at a good hour. We expect to have a good atmosphere and the support of the fans to get the points.

“Athletic have quality players, but we have to go there with the idea of competing with anyone. But, now we have to think game by game and the next one is Getafe. Three points in our field, we must try to win, so looking beyond that to Athletic would be a mistake. “

The President was asked of the possibility of seeing the Madrid minnows making any moves in the January transfer window.

“We will move if someone will arrive who could increase the competitive level of the team. If we move it will be for that, but if not then nothing will be done.

“The move for Jordi Figueras [the defender is set to join on loan again, this time from Brugge] is necessary for the unfortunate [season-ending Achilles] injury for Rodri. We needed to fill his position and believe that with this acquisition we have cover for the remainder of the season.

“We also have many young players who are doing well and could be called up into the senior squad.”

Tags Martin Presa