Former Real Betis boss Gus Poyet feels he was right to drop Dani Ceballos as “it must be said that they ended up in a worse position” with him in the team.
Poyet lasted only the first half of last season in charge of Betis, with his reign marred by his refusal to count on Ceballos, who has since joined Real Madrid.
However, the Uruguayan insists he would make the same decision again, given the side finished 15th last season, one place lower than when he left.
“Betis? It was my worst spell in coaching. It was disappointing,” the Shanghai Shenhua Coach told AS.
“I based [taking the job] on what the club were when I played in Spain, but I found something completely different.
“It was a very frustrating experience, but I learned a lot. There was a bad atmosphere at the club.
“It makes me very calm that they ended up in a worse position than I left. We were on the right track.
“Ceballos? Dani has excellent ability, but our ups and downs led me to make decisions that possibly didn’t sit with him very well.
“I was very convinced by my decisions and I’d make them again. I’m very happy that he’s joined Madrid, for him and for his family.
“But to those who thought that the squad were worse off because I didn’t play him, it must be said that they ended up in a worse position.
“The problem wasn’t Dani. He had the potential to make the team play in a way that I didn’t know how.
“What did the Under-21s give him that I didn’t? A team that dominate and allow him to have the ball.
“It was a question of formation and style of play: I didn’t find them and the one that suffered was Dani.
“He was very honest. He didn’t understand why he didn’t play, but it was something natural, and when I wanted to give him an explanation, he preferred not to [listen].
“Still, the uncontrollable and unfortunate situation around the club didn’t give me time to build a strong team, although we came close to it in preseason.
“There was no affinity, only mutual respect. Those who came out to talk after [my departure] are worse off now.
“Madrid or Barca for Ceballos? I’m very respectful: he had to decide, with his family and agent.
“I’m happy because I know what football he likes to play and that he fought to get to Madrid. I’d tell him to keep improving and seize his opportunity.
“A loan back to Betis? I don’t know about another team, but not to Betis: returning would put him back in a situation of insecurity again.
“Any regrets? It’s very easy to talk after things have happened. To those who criticised me, we were 14th. With [Ceballos] playing for the rest of the season, we finished 15th.”