‘Betis will give everything’

Pepe Mel vowed Real Betis will be forceful in their attempt to overturn a Copa del Rey deficit to Sevilla but admits to problems in the squad.

Betis’ form has led to criticism of Mel and suggestions he might not remain in his post, a feeling exacerbated by the 2-0 reverse to their city rivals at Benito Villamarin, but Mel defended the decision to rotate his squad.

“I put out the XI I felt I had to. I might be wrong, but I have a lot of things to think about,” he noted, Estadio Deportivo reports.

“I have to think about people carrying knocks and who are tired, besides thinking about Sunday when we have to play an important game. I have to show trust in my players.

“I’m happy with how they did, not the result, especially the second goal, when we were too permissive.

“We can’t say the tie is 50-50. It’s obviously worse than when we kicked off, but we have another game. A goal can change a game and when things change, so does your mood and the opponents’ mood.

“On Tuesday we will compete in the match with all the weapons we have, and there’ll be a lot of them.”

Betis have however lost their last three and not won since early December, a situation Mel admits is causing issues in the locker room, while he understands supporter unrest.

“The fans are sovereign, they can do what they want. The emotions are about me. Obviously there’s something wrong in the locker room,” he acknowledged.

“Sport is closely linked to mentality. A locker room that hasn’t won has a bad atmosphere. Nothing good comes when you don’t win. We have to take that into account and deal with it.

“The Getafe match [on Sunday] is important to change everything. If the result smiles on us, it will be important for [the Copa second leg on Tuesday].

“We want to end the first half of the season with 20 points. That’d be half-way to our target.”

Tags Pepe Mel