Pepe Mel says Saturday’s Andalucian derby between his Real Betis side and Sevilla in La Liga will be won by the best team on the night.
Los Verdiblancos host their arch-rivals on the back of three games without a win in the League but are set to end the year comfortably clear of the relegation places, and the Coach is demanding a committed performance from his players.
“I’ve told the players that the best way to say thank you [to the fans] is to be very intense and compete well, regardless of the result,” he said at a Press conference.
“The fans were outside our training ground [on Friday] and the players decided to greet them.
“[On who the favourites are], I don’t know whether to take the last few seasons into account, but there will always be a favourite.
“I think my team have a lot to say and we can’t start thinking that we are worse than anyone.
“Still, we’re playing in front of our fans and that’s hugely important.
“If a player has trouble motivating themselves against Sevilla, then he doesn’t belong here.
“The most important thing is to be strong and play the game as we have done in other matches.
“It’s a derby, so it doesn’t mean anything if we see lots of the ball.
“Sevilla have many qualities and so do we, so we must try to take advantage of their mistakes.
“[On possible signings in January], recruitment isn’t up to me, but I have a meeting lined up regarding our plans.
“[Unai Emery and I] have always had a good relationship, and we kept in touch even when we didn’t live in the same city.
“Our relationship is good, as it is between the Presidents and players, and I hope there is a good relationship in the stands.
“We must set an example for the city because football in Seville deserves it.
“Whoever deserves to win will win, and hopefully it’ll be Betis.”