Marcelino has urged his Villarreal players to take a “big” step in securing Champions League football next season when they host Getafe on Sunday.
Villarreal currently enjoy an eight-point lead over nearest challengers Celta Vigo in the race for La Liga’s fourth and final Champions League spot, and Marcelino claims his side do not need any motivating for that reason.
“It shouldn’t be difficult to motivate the players for [Sunday] because they must be aware that for us this game is a final,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“A big part of the possibility that we’ll play in the Champions League next season rests on winning [on Sunday], so we can’t think that this is a small game.
“On the contrary, it will be very difficult and of the utmost importance.
“If we can get the three points, we know that we’ll – at least – keep our lead over our pursuers with six games remaining.
“We have three home games left, and if we win them, we’ll secure fourth place.
“Last week we were the only team to win out of those who are fighting for fourth and the only one to play away from home.
“It was something no-one expected, so we must be very attentive and play with maximum intensity [against Getafe].
“The fans have to understand that this game is a final and therefore we need their support at all times, from the first to the last minute, because it’ll be a difficult game after the wear of [playing Sparta Prague on] Thursday.
“We’ve played a lot of highly-demanding games lately and fatigue can be felt at this stage of the season, but we must rise above all that and be competitive.
“Getafe badly need the points, but so do we, so we must give it our all.
“They will come here with the idea of winning, so they’ll make every effort to do so.
“They have strong forwards, who are capable of doing damage, they attack with speed, have a good attacking strategy and can put us under difficulty.
“We must be strong defensively and attempt to keep a clean sheet.”