‘Villarreal will die with their boots on’

Marcelino says Villarreal “will die with their boots on” when they face Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday.

The Yellow Submarine are preparing for a rematch against the Catalans, having lost 3-2 to them in La Liga less than a fortnight ago, and the Coach has total confidence in his players to compete at Camp Nou once more.

“It’ll be very difficult, but that doesn’t mean we won’t go [to Camp Nou] with the ambition of getting a positive result.

“We’re two steps away from reaching the final. The first game will be a clear indicator of our chances.

"Barca are the clear favourites. We’ll fight against the season’s best-performing club. We’re dreaming of reaching the final.

“We’re facing the match with the most ambition and motivation [possible]. We’ll see if we can be competitive once more against a great team.

“We’ll try to get the best possible result. We must try to score, but we won’t go all guns blazing or attempt to out-possess Barca.

“Both Luis Enrique and I know how to counter the opposing team, one with many guns and one with less. Then it’s about the football and depends on you having a very successful day.

“Our players must perform at their peak levels, while our opponents must not have their best day. We must minimise their performance levels, but it’ll be very difficult.

“Barca have more ways to attack you [this season]. In the past, possession wasn’t negotiable, but now they have the resources to defeat their opponents anywhere on the pitch. They’re the team who best play with the ball in tight spaces.

"I am proud of my players, and I know we’ll die there with our boots on. We’ll compete with dignity. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to coach these players because they have ambition and the desire to work hard.

“[Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar] are worth seven or eight Villarreal budgets, but we must try to score whenever we have the ball and defend like lions when we don’t. We must be mentally strong.

“Even if we won 2-0, the tie would still be open. The most important thing is to compete and enjoy this game.

“It’s a big compliment for us when people say we can compete with Barcelona. Now let's try to make it happen.”

Tags Marcelino Garcia Toral
La Liga - Club News