‘Derby a final for Betis’

Real Betis caretaker Coach Juan Merino described the Copa del Rey derby second leg with Sevilla as like a final for his side.

Betis trail Los Rojiblancos 2-0 from the first leg and go to Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan looking for what has been described in the Press as a ‘miracle,’ and sacked Pepe Mel at the weekend after a poor run of results.

“I haven’t met [Mel]. He deserves respect for being the Betis Coach for the most games, along with [Lorenzo Serra Ferrer],” Merino said, AS reports, regarding the former trainer.

“It wasn’t my decision to let him go. I respect him as a Coach and what he did for Betis.

“[I’m not Zinedine Zidane], I’m Juan Merino, hard-working, consistent. I played my football to 100% of my capabilities. I have to be humble, grounded, that’s the main weapon a person has to keep growing.”

It was put to Merino that he faces a tough schedule as he sits on the bench against Sevilla, Villarreal and Real Madrid, but he remained optimistic.

“Can you imagine if we win all three? I think we will win. The fans and the reporters know it’s a difficult situation. I’m thinking about the first game.

“A comeback would be a tremendous joy for Betis and being on the bench for a derby is like a final.”

Tags Juan Merino