Celta were the only La Liga side eliminated from the Copa del Rey last night. The Galician outfit lost 2-1 to Atletico Baleares in the shock of the round, exiting a competition they would have hoped to have gone deep in earlier than expected.
Eduardo Coudet, speaking after the game, didn’t make any excuses for his team’s poor performance. “We didn’t play a good game,” he said in comments carried by Marca.
“It’s not an excuse but we felt that several players lacked the rhythm given the situation from which they’re coming from. We’re trying to regulate the minutes [doled out to the squad] but we should have handled the game better.
“Obviously we wanted to pass [to the next round]. But we’re aware of the difficulties we’ve had with respect to others. We didn’t arrive into this game with everyone at 100% and we have to regulate the load our players take on.
“So we didn’t go into the game in ideal shape, and now we’re already thinking of another in two days. So we have to look forward and think about Saturday.”
Celta would have hoped to be in contention for a Europa League place this season, but instead they’re sitting 12th in La Liga at the mid-point of the season. They’re seven points off both the top six and the relegation zone, and their season could go either way.
Coming into the tie with three consecutive victories, they would have hoped to have done better. But they have been hit hard by covid-19 and now, like Coudet said, look to the future.
Next up is a difficult-looking trip to San Sebastian to lock horns with Real Sociedad. Celta fans will hope the team that showed up to beat Real Betis 2-0 at the Benito Villamarin makes the trip to the Basque Country rather than the one that lost to Atletico.