Paco Jemez has urged Rayo Vallecano to be wary of Levante’s counterattacking threat ahead of Saturday’s La Liga encounter at Vallecas.
A run of four defeats in five matches has seen Los Franjirrojos plummet to the lower reaches of the table in recent weeks, but a victory over the Valencians this weekend could see them move closer to the top half and distance themselves from their relegation rivals.
“I like [Levante’s] ability to wait and counter. They don’t need the ball, are always well positioned and well-drilled,” the Coach told reporters.
“On a small pitch like ours, it’s even harder to find space [to exploit] yet from this they’re able to create counterattacking situations.
“[Levante’s] game is based on their positional and defensive set-up, which allows them to seek the opposing goal.
“Their match against Granada was a difficult and strange game. They practically lost it, yet in five minutes were able to turn it around.
“That shows they never give up. They’re a team, who are prepared to fight as long as necessary.
“It’s clear we can’t underestimate them because despite being down there, they are still a very tough team to face.
“Our first step is to show respect to our rivals. Whatever we do [on the pitch], we’re playing to win. Levante are a very tough team.
“Levante are in a situation in which they must compete, and they’re a competitive team. They’ll come here to win, that’s clearer than water.
“Another thing is how we’d use to win, but that depends on the Coach. We have to do things right and not lower our arms. We’re not even contemplating that.
“Playing at Vallecas is always very importan. It’s important that the stadium is full and the fans are there to back the team if there’s a bad spell during the match.
“The crowd are almost as important as the players. We rely heavily on them.”