Marcelino has challenged Villarreal to take a “big step” towards La Liga’s fourth place by winning their “final” against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Victory over La Real would not only end Villarreal’s run of back-to-back defeats but see them move eight points clear of Athletic Bilbao and provisionally Celta Vigo with only three games remaining, and Marcelino is urging his side to complete the job.
“It’s a final after 34 days of grafting. It’s the most important game of the season,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“We’ve paddled [to fourth place] and now is the time to confirm it. Finishing fourth would be an incredible achievement and certify our great work this season.
“We’re ahead of teams who were meant to be above us, but on Sunday there is another final and we’re all aware of what’s at stake, the fans included.
“The team needs support because they’re worn out and it’s important to feel the breath of the fans.
“There will be moments of difficulty on Sunday, but if the fans are on our side then it’s a big plus.
As the injured players, the coach has expressed a desire to have Victor Ruiz, Samu Castillejo, Tomas Pina and Roberto Soldado, but regretted the absence of Mussachio, Jaume Costa and Baptistão.
“Mateo [Musacchio] trained on Friday at a normal pace, but he still needs to tune up.
“Jaume [Costa] should return to the team on Monday. In addition, we’re without Leo [Baptistao], who was injured [in training] and we’ve yet to see when he’ll return.
“Real Sociedad could be near us, but inconsistency has deprived them of being so.
“They’re a team who can beat anyone and have quality. They has individual resources and we must ensure they don’t perform at their best.
“We all feel that we’re in with the possibility of making history at this club [by winning the Europa League], but we have another big dream [to realise].
“The semi-final must remain in the background because Sunday’s a final for fourth place.
“If we win on Sunday, [fourth] won’t be assured, but it’d be a big step forward.”