Villarreal boss Marcelino Garcia Toral has advised caution ahead of the club’s return to the top-flight after a one-year absence.
The Yellow Submarine take on Almeria at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos on Monday night and, despite the excitement so far generated among fans and players, Marcelino has issued a note of warning.
“It’s been a long pre-season and we are certainly looking forward to starting the season and being able to compete. We hold out great hopes and I can see that the fans are also really excited.
“There is a good feeling and it is to be hoped Villarreal can do well, but in that sense I’m quite guarded. In football you can get used to losing 4-0 or you can beat Fiorentina and Sporting, as we have done, and think you can take on the world.
“However, I prefer to wait 10 or 12 games, or around a third of the competition, to assess what we can really achieve this year.”
Marcelino is aware there is a big difference between preparing over the summer months and actually being involved in real competitive action.
“Good results in friendlies don’t ensure a good start to the League. For me the pre-season is not a clear indicator because it is one thing and competition is another.
“The work we have done until now has all been geared towards the first game and we are in good shape. But, as I said, it’s not a good indicator.”
As for Almeria, Marcelino explained that the two teams are well known to each other from last term in La Segunda, although he feels that is no pointer towards Monday’s game.
“This time it will be different. It’s a different scenario. They have a new Coach and there will be other things that will have changed. It looks as if this Almeria team is more dynamic and will pressurise more from the front.
“We’ve already played them in La Manga and they were superior to us, so we know them well and they also know us well.
“We’ll try to win, that’s the idea and it will be our aim. The squads have changed little so it is the team with the most skill that will win,” he explained.