Villarreal boss Marcelino has admitted that Sunday’s final game against Sporting Gijon is “awkward” due to his past affiliation with the Asturians.
Marcelino spent 15 years at El Molinon as a player and Coach, initially as a midfielder between 1985 and 1989 and then trainer between 2003 and 2005, and he conceded he was caught between wanting the Yellow Submarine to win and his former club staying in La Liga.
“It’s an awkward game for me,” he said at a Press conference.
“I spent 15 of my 50 years there and Sporting gave me the opportunity to play in La Liga.
“But what do you want me to say, that I want Sporting to go down?
“Well, I’m not going to answer that question, but that doesn’t mean that my team won’t go out to win.
“I don’t care if anyone doubts our professionalism. It’s not our problem.
“I’ve had a clear conscience for as long as I can remember, and while I’ve been a mature person, I’ve been responsible for my actions and I go to sleep very easily.
“I’ll play more or less the same team as the one who played against Deportivo [La Coruna].
“If our ‘B’ team had nothing to play for, I’d use more of their players [referring to Villarreal B’s chase for the Segunda B title], but they’re not available so the line-up will be similar to last Sunday.
“[On transfer plans for next season], there are some departures we foresee, but there are others we don’t.
“When the market is open and signings depend on sales, it’s difficult to know how it’ll end.
“Ideally, we’d like to have the squad [for next season] ready soon.
“There are several players in [defence] who have been with us for the past four years, and if we can keep that unit then we’ll take a step forward because [keeping them] is a case of ‘job done’.”