‘Pepe Mel was like a father to me’

Real Betis striker Ruben Castro says axed boss Pepe Mel was like a father to him when he was in charge at the club.

The 31-year-old was signed by Mel from Deportivo de La Coruna in August 2010, having spent the previous season on loan at Rayo Vallecano, and believes the Andalusians acted too soon in firing the Madrid-born Coach.

“I felt his departure very much. Of all the coaches I’ve ever had he was the one that got the most out of me,” lamented Castro in an interview with AS.

“His leaving has affected me because as well as being a friend he was like a father to me. If I had any problems I could tell him about them and he helped me every time.

“I will miss him a lot and will feel his absence, but it is Betis that pays me and I’ve just got to look forward.

“Even so, I don’t think his dismissal was fair. Nobody likes it when the Coach goes and this time, although we are bottom, we’ve played well and not been winning because of some bad luck.

“But they’ve changed things and now we must move on with whoever comes in.”

Castro missed a gilt-edged opportunity near the end of last week’s 2-2 draw with Rayo, one that if converted would surely have given his team all three points. It is a miss he admits he has dwelt on over the past few days.

“I’ve given it a lot of thought because if I’d scored then Pepe would still be here. We would have got the win and people would have been a lot more relaxed.

“With Mel I had something special, he knew me, and always acted very well towards me. It’s going to be very difficult, not just for me but for everyone,” he concluded.





Tags Pepe Mel Ruben Castro