‘Rayo play like a big team’

Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar has described Rayo Vallecano as “a small team who play like a big one” ahead of Saturday’s meeting between the sides.

A run of seven defeats in their last eight games has seen the Basques fall away from the top seven in La Liga, and the Coach warned his side’s task of ending their slump would not get any easier with the trip to Vallecas.

“[Rayo] are a small team who play like a big one,” he said at a Press conference.

“They always want to be in control of the game rather than control of the ball.

“We’ll try to play how we want, keep our lines close together and not let them get too far in behind.

“They’re a team who look behind them very little and always look forward.

“They want the ball at all times and look to recover as soon as possible. They’re very brave.

“If there’s a lot of goals in the game then there’s disorder. Many will say that if there are goals then that’s great, but many come from errors, and an error is never pretty.

“Being able to defend well is great. A great match doesn’t have to be a 4-4 draw.

“For me, a final is only the last match of a competition, but [Rayo] is still a big game.

“If we win, we’ll have taken a big step forward. We know how to play Rayo and that we can’t lose our heads.

“They take many risks, so we must know when to press and when not to so we don’t waste our energy.”

Tags Jose Luis Mendilibar