Former Real Madrid and Las Palmas Coach Mariano Garcia Remon advised the islanders to ‘have fun’ at Santiago Bernabeu.
Las Palmas travel to the capital this weekend for the second game of Quique Setien’s spell on the bench, and Remon, who led Las Palmas in 1997-98 and Madrid in 2004-05, spoke to AS about the tie.
“Obviously I have affection for both teams, but I am a Madrid fan. Las Palmas have to go there thinking they face the League leader, so they have to work hard,” he said.
“Every minute that passes without conceding a goal will be good for them. If Madrid are on form, there’s no match.”
Garcia Remon then moved to discuss the current state of the respective teams, starting with the one led by Rafa Benitez.
“There’s too much talk about whether or not Madrid are defensive. They’re a balanced team. It’s true that it costs the team a little more to attack against a team that have a lot of players back. But they almost always win,” he remarked.
“The midweek ‘rest’ is atypical, because players are used to playing of a weekend and in midweek. Rafa will have had time to do a more thorough job than usual. But players like to compete so maybe the week is a little longer than usual. Not saying that is better or worse, just different.
“Las Palmas have to go out and have fun [at Santiago Bernabeu], but keeping in mind it will be very difficult.
“The team gave a good image against Atletico Madrid and Barcelona but when you look at the table, you see they added no points against them. They have to be more aggressive in attack to be more dangerous.
“[Coach] Quique Setien knows he is playing against a great team so will try to find weaknesses. They must believe they can do damage, even to Madrid.”
Setien is a recent appointment for Las Palmas, and Garcia Remon admitted he wasn’t surprised to see Paco Herrera sacked only months after leading the club to promotion.
“Football has no memory. As a professional you have to accept it,” he considered.
“But I don’t forget that he was only recently celebrating as a main actor in promotion to the Primera and then after eight games he was sacked. But it’s not something that only happens at Las Palmas.
“The team is a continuation from last year because there’s only slight changes in some of the lines. Personally I’m very satisfied they continue with the idea of the youth policy because, ultimately, it’s the best investment for modest teams [like Las Palmas].
“The Gran Canaria cantera has shown throughout its long history that they have always made very good players.”