Escriba: Villarreal must move on

Fran Escriba has urged Villarreal to forget about their midweek Champions League defeat and focus on starting the new La Liga season with a win against Granada.

Marcelino’s sudden departure saw Escriba thrusted into power just last week as the former Elche boss debuted with a 2-1 home defeat to Monaco in the Champions League playoffs, but the Coach made it clear he was only thinking about the next game.

“We analysed the game [against Monaco], we saw the mistakes we made and now we’re focused on the next game and the start of the League,” he said at a Press conference.

“The group are affected [by the result], it’s normal, but they are professionals and will bounce back. We can’t be thinking about what happened, we must focus on the future.

“Right now, there are only a few changes I can make [due to injuries]. We know that we have problems and we assume that these two weeks will be very difficult, but we’ll nonetheless go [into the match] with the idea of ​​winning and not looking for excuses.

“[Alexandre] Pato is fine, he’s shown [his quality] and gives us a lot, but he’s not at 100 percent.

“It’s a joy to have back [Nicola] Sansone, who is a quick forward and more adapted now. [Rafael] Santos Borre has just arrived, so we can’t ask him for much more.

“[Denis] Cheryshev is training well and shortening his [recovery] time, plus his feelings are very good, but we won’t risk anything. We won’t run risk of him relapsing.

“[On Granada], what we’ve seen of them is the concept of [their Coach] Paco Jemez.

“They’re team that play from the back, link up well and use the ball well, and that’s what we’re expecting from them.

“They've had six weeks while we’ve had six days, therefore we must all adapt gradually.

“[Alfred N’Diaye] is a player who gives us two options, the club signed him as a centre-back but he’s played as a midfielder before. He can play in either position so we can use him in both.

“[On new signings], the market is open, there are options to strengthen the team and we’ll see what happens, although I don’t have any specific requests.

“[This season’s La Liga] is more open, several teams like Malaga and Espanyol have been strengthened well and it makes the fight for Europe more open.”

Tags Fran Escriba