Villarreal Coach Marcelino hopes the home fans pack El Madrigal for the Europa League quarter-final first leg with Sparta Prague.
Marcelino was at his pre-match Press conference at pains to stress the importance of not taking the opposition lightly, insisting on ‘maximum respect.’
“I would ask those who come to the stadium to please be with the team for 90 minutes,” AS quotes the Coach as saying.
“The squad deserves [a full Madrigal]. Sometimes we’re not aware of what we’re doing this season. We’re doing something naturally that I think is an absolute success so far.
“The players are making it possible. I wouldn’t understand it if we didn’t have a full stadium.”
Marcelino added that just because Sparta aren’t at the level of previous opponents such as Napoli, that doesn’t mean they can be taken for granted.
“We expect a tough opponent, different from previous rivals. They create a lot of chances and are effective in defence,” he noted.
“They’ll play with five defenders, press a lot and are very fast in defensive and offensive transitions and get a lot of players in both boxes.
“We can’t label them as easy as if they were they wouldn’t be in the quarter-final. They’re tough competition, having eliminated Krasnodar and Lazio.
“We might be favourites but we won’t fall into the trap of believing we’re through this round.”