Javi Gracia has insisted that Malaga can handle the pressure of a battle for Europa League qualification ahead of Sunday’s match against Deportivo La Coruna.
The Andalucians appeared to be in control of seventh place, which will be good enough for a European berth this season if Barcelona lift the Copa del Rey, but a run of five games without a win has allowed Athletic Bilbao to draw level on points with them.
“No-one is going to put more pressure on us. The table may tighten and change slightly, but our objective remains the same,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“Seventh place doesn’t necessarily guarantee Athletic Bilbao the Europa League. We dream of defending seventh and possibly finishing sixth.
“With this coaching change [Victor Sanchez replacing Victor Fernandez], they’ve played their last two games differently.
“We have no guarantee of how they’ll play. Coaching changes bring changes in motivation and enthusiasm to a team.
“[After Sunday], there will be 15 points at stake and anything is possible. [Sunday’s] match is vital for us to continue having aspirations. We’ll need the fans to help us get the win.
“[Ignacio Camacho] has continued training and is feeling better [with each session], but it’s currently not advisable for him to have minutes.
“We’ll see, though. It’s a mystery as he looks pretty good [in training].
“[Helder] Postiga, in the absence of Toche, who scored in San Sebastian [against Real Sociedad], will give them [goals]. I don’t know if he’ll start.
“They have speedsters like Lucas [Martinez] and [Ivan] Cavaleiro and players like Jose Rodriguez in the final third.
“They’re a team with plenty of characteristics. They’ll be tough opponents as they were in the League and Copa [del Rey].
“I’m very happy with Nordin [Amrabat]’s work and I’d like him to continue with us.
“He’s a very important player for us, and hopefully he’ll still be here next year, but there are issues such as economic factors to consider.”