Real Sociedad striker Carlos Vela feels the first-leg Champions League qualifier with Lyon on Tuesday could shape the club’s season.
However, the former Arsenal man has made it clear that Saturday’s La Liga opener against Getafe at Anoeta takes precedence for the time being.
“We know Tuesday’s game means a lot with regards to next season, but first we have to face Getafe, who are a great side, and if we don’t concentrate on them then it could cost us dearly,” he declared at a Press conference.
The Mexican international is aware of the excitement generated in San Sebastian by La Real’s participation in Europe’s premier club competition.
“It’s a nice challenge for us, so we’ll enjoy it and try to take advantage of the opportunity. The team gained a lot of confidence last season. We believe nobody is better than us and we’ll fight against any other side,” he insisted.
The Basques have suffered a series of injuries over the past few weeks, but Vela maintains it is no excuse before the crucial start to the campaign.
“We have to focus on what we have and how we can take things forward. Personally, I’m very hopeful as we begin a new year and a new adventure, and my mentality is to do better than last term.
“I want to help my team do the best it can. I’m happy with my preparation and I want to start showing it as from Saturday.”
Finally, Vela said he was optimistic about the appointment of new Coach Jagoba Arrasate.
“At first it was strange to see him after being friends for some years. I think we are on the right road and that he has some clear ideas.
“Hopefully he’ll bring the team some luck and things go well so we can continue improving more every day,” he concluded.