‘Betis in Europe? Survival first’

Javier Chica has reflected that Real Betis must take advantage of their current form to achieve one season target and then aim for another.

The Seville side saw an upturn in form towards the end of the calendar year and begin Week 18’s opening round of 2013 in fifth place, just three points below the Champions League qualification positions.

However, for Chica the target is to secure the team’s top-flight status first, rather than dream of European football.

“We must continue along this path and get to 42 points as soon as we can and from there start to fight for Europe,” the defender told gathered reporters today.

“We should be clear that the first objective is to avoid relegation. Once we have achieved that goal, we can aspire towards another.

“We are in a very good run of form and we must take advantage of that. This year we have been consistent and hopefully it will stay that way. The best time is the present, with a Betis that is stable and doing great things.

“Other teams that have been consistent in other years and qualified for Europe are not so consistent this year. When they wake up, they may find it is too late to reach Europe this year. So, we hope to be up there and fighting to the end.

“Are we the surprise of the season? When there are six or seven games remaining then we can say that, but more than half of the season remains and it is too early.

“I can see Madrid tightening the gap to Barcelona at the top and then positions third to sixth being hard fought this year.”

Tags Chica