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First Team

Mendilibar: Ponferradina is very good team, and we will have to work very hard

José Luis Mendilibar, SD Eibar manager, said today that Ponferradina has “a very good team” and that his team “will have to work very hard” in the cup tie whose first leg will be played tomorrow in the El Toralín stadium

For tomorrow’s match, Mendilibar will have to manage without the injured Jaime Jiménez, Mauro Dos Santos and Borja Bastón (the latter two will be available for Sunday’s match in Anoeta, barring any serious setbacks) and has decided to leave David Juncà, Dani García, Saúl Berjón and Sergi Enrich in Eibar.

The squad consists of the 16 remaining members of the first team, along with Iñigo Barrenetxea and Asier Etxaburu from the reserve team, CD Vitoria.

“We have to go out there with one hundred percent commitment, and not get over-confident. The ‘small’ club tries that bit harder while the team from the higher level plays semi-relaxed. I hope that will not be the case with us and that we play the same way as in the league. I hope we don’t think that just because we play in blue and red we are Barcelona,” said Mendilibar at a press conference.

The manager from Zaldibar confirmed that he would be making changes to the team but “not to how we play.” “There are players who have played very little and are keen. I hope that everyone plays for the team. The best way to win over the manager will be by playing for the team,” he said.

“It’s good for the club that we continue to qualify for the next rounds, but for the players it’s even better because the fact that there are midweek games means that everyone has objectives. Continuing in the cup will be an opportunity for those who haven’t had much time on the pitch and for those coming back from injuries,” he said.