Marcelino has admitted that Villarreal are eyeing third place in La Liga after Sunday’s 3-0 win against Levante.
Goals from Leo Baptistao, Nahuel Leiva and Adrian Lopez fired the Yellow Submarine to within two points of Real Madrid and extended the club’s unbeaten run in the League to 13 games.
Subsequently, the Coach is challenging his side to continue performing “well above our usual level”, even if they needed Los Blancos or Atletico Madrid to be “well below theirs”.
“We’re very happy to win,” he said after the game.
“I’m glad to have several players back for the cause. It was a very important game which closed a great week.
“The likes of Nahuel [Leiva], Castillejo, Adrian Marin and Baptistão are young players whose performance give high hopes for the end of season.
“The first goal made it very difficult for Levante. We came out with clear ideas and an eagerness to do things right, and we especially had success facing their goal.
“In our first game against Levante, we rotated and went wrong. Now, we’re going well and feeling well.
“I think the players deserve respect for taking their chances. We need to continue making these changes in what’s been a long and intense season.
“We’re trying to distribute minutes. Our absences force us to do this and are why we’re doing rotations and looking for [different] solutions.
“We set realistic goals at the beginning of the season, and our end to the campaign will dictate whether we can reach them or not.
“The truth is that we’re above our targets. Finishing third would be a huge achievement.
“Still, we’re not thinking about it, we’re going game by game, but I think if we [finished third], it’d mean we were well above our usual level and Madrid or Atleti being well below theirs.