Mel happy for defensive Betis

Pepe Mel explained his reasoning for encouraging a more defensive Real Betis in the Europa League and indicates things will continue for the short term.

Los Beticos picked up a 1-0 result at home to Vitoria de Guimaraes on Thursday evening despite the Portuguese visitors edging the possession and chances.

In cutting to an end Betis’ poor run of form though, the Coach was only satisfied.

“We were clear that we were going out there with the utmost seriousness, to not give anything away and to make as few mistakes as possible,” Mel explained post-match.

“We have changed the formation, intending to stay compact and taking two steps back. The team needs the confidence that the result gives us. We will see later the true value of this win.

“Consistency in the defending of the team has been given to all the players. In the summer we worked on pressuring forward. We were doing it well, but did not win.

“When you do not win, you lose that belief. That is what we seek now. From Friday we will train knowing that we have won, that the dynamic has changed.

“It is smart to try to change things when you see that they are not working. The time will come to do that which we intend to, but for now the team will gain a lot from playing more defensively.

“The group is all very tight. In these two games [with Vitoria], I think we need to get four points. We then cannot fail to qualify until the final match of the group against Rijeka.

“For now, we have it in our hand. Now we have a tough game in Portugal.”

Tags Mel Vitoria