Unai Emery insisted “I had full confidence in the team I played” against Espanyol after a weakened Sevilla lost 1-0 at Cornella-El Prat on Sunday.
Felipe Caicedo scored the only goal of the game to condemn Sevilla to their fifth defeat in seven League matches, but much of the focus after the final whistle centred on Emery’s decision to change his entire XI from last Thursday’s 2-2 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.
“Some regular players weren’t on the pitch, but I had full confidence in the team I played,” the Coach explained.
“At times we were in control, but we lacked a little going forward and Espanyol made us pay for our mistakes.
“Their goal conditioned the match. They were interested in playing with many stoppages and we struggled to give continuity to the game and acquire the feeling of being close to a draw.
“[Nicolas] Pareja returning to the team is great news, it’s a pleasure for everyone. We’ve seen a Nico who wants to help [the team].
“[On the cantera who played], we have an optimistic outlook for them.
“Those who we’ve introduced [into the first team] from the B team need to undergo a process of adaptation.
“They were up to the [demands of the] match. I’m happy with the work of the players, although the result saddens us.
“The semi-finals of the Europa League fill us with hope. We want to do something great in that competition. From here, our focus is on Thursday.
“After 18 away games, [a win at Athletic Bilbao] is for our pride and credibility. At Bilbao, we have to play with pride.”