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Mendilibar: I don't believe that either Leganés or ourselves are fighting for a European spot

The Armeros' boss insisted that the target continues to be to "get to 40 or 41 points as soon as possible"

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08/02/2018 16:34

Speaking today in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's encounter at Butarque, José Luis Mendilibar stressed that neither Leganés or Eibar "are fighting for a European spot, we're just trying to win every game, and if you look at the table, we're both up there".

Mendilibar is set to announce his squad for the clash against Leganés following tomorrow's training session at Atxabalpe, but revealed that he's likely to name the same 18-man squad as he did against Sevilla.

"I don't think that our focus or theirs right now is about toppling Sevilla or Villarreal or whoever, but rather to pick up as many points as possible as soon as we can. If there are seven games of the season to go and we've hit our target, we can't give up and must look to go on and achieve something else. Up until then, our focus continues to be on getting to 40 or 41 points as soon as possible".

"We're in good shape and the squad is looking good. We're on a good, lengthy run, both in terms of results and performances, and we go there with the confidence that gives you, whilst being aware that Leganés are a different challenge and are a strong side at home. They're good at what they do and it's not easy to cause them problems. They play a similar style of football to us. Let's see if we manage to spend less time in our box and more in and around theirs".

In reference to Leganés's elimination from the Copa del Rey at the semi-final stage, Mendibiliar suggested that "They won't be down about having been knocked out". "They had a very good run in the Copa del Rey and weren't favourites against Sevilla. They've had an extra game in the build-up and if we play our high-intensity game, that'll perhaps work in our favour".

"Sometimes you try to play at a high tempo and the opposition just don't let you. An advantage for us could be that they've been playing Sunday-Wednesday and that takes its toll, especially for small clubs like them and us who aren't used to it. If we manage to play at a high tempo, probe away, play in their half, keep going and move the ball around quickly, it may well eventually pay dividends, but it's not easy to do so. We'll be trying to do just that".

It's important that we don't concede first. They're a strong side that play well when they're in front or level in games. If you manage to score against them, they too find it difficult. If we take the lead, it'll work in our favour but it won't determine the result".

When quizzed about the fitness of Pedro León, who has been out injured all season, Mendilibar revealed "He surprised me this week, I didn't expect him to be in such good shape. He trained very well yesterday and the day before, but it'll be a week before he's back involved and then he'll have to earn his place, he'll have to push someone out of the squad".

SDE / Schedule Eibar

16 OCT

10:30 Atxabalpe

Training session

Open doors

17 OCT

10:30 Atxabalpe

Training session

Open doors

18 OCT

10:30 Atxabalpe

Training session

Open doors

19 OCT

10:30 Atxabalpe

Training session

Open doors

20 OCT

10:30 Atxabalpe

Training session

Open doors

See schedule