Manuel Pellegrini believes that a good performance from Malaga against Real Valladolid will stand them in good stead for Porto the following midweek.
The Costa del Sol outfit travel out to Valladolid this Saturday before then turning their attention to next Wednesday’s Champions League Last 16 second leg at home to Porto.
For Coach Pellegrini, a win the first of these two games may be the best preparation his team can have in facing the second.
“A place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League is at stake on Wednesday, being amongst the eight best teams in Europe,” began the Chilean in his Press conference today.
“The best way to face this match next week is to perform well against Valladolid. They are a tough team to beat at their ground.
“They were only narrowly defeated by Real Madrid and Barcelona and we only just beat them here at the last minute.
“They play very good football and we’re going to have to pull out all the stops to come home with a victory.
“We’re all focused on defeating Valladolid. Our top priority is to win, and in order to this we need to score goals.
“We’re aware we’ve experienced a bit of a dip recently, but we’re concentrating on the best way to improve.
“We’re still fourth in the League at this point in the season, and amongst the 16 best teams in Europe, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure we end the year as well as possible in the League and Champions League.”
Pellegrini also briefly commented on Martin Demichelis’ words yesterday that were critical of the club’s management for selling Nacho Monreal in January.
“For me it is an honour to have worked through the season with the players, for their commitment to the club, to the institution and to the people of Malaga – it is what has allowed us to be where we are today.
“We will do our best to finish the year as high as we can.”