Mendilibar: We've done half the job and now have to finish it off
Eibar return to Ipurua tomorrow looking to secure progress following their 2-1 away triumph in the first leg
Speaking ahead of tomorrow's Copa del Rey round of 32 second-leg clash against Sporting Gijón at Ipurua (19:00), SD Eibar coach José Luis Mendilibar today reflected on his side's 2-1 first-leg victory at El Molinón, insisting that, "We've done half the job and now have to finish it off".
Mendilibar has to contend with injuries to Asier Riesgo, Iván Ramis and Fran Rico for the Asturians' visit, whilst Antonio Luna, Takashi Inui and Sergi Enrich have not been named in the squad.
The Armeros' boss revealed that tomorrow's line-up is set to include eight or nine changes to the side that started Sunday's encounter at Leganés. "We've trained pretty well. Those that played in Gijón did a good job and we're going to maintain our policy and continue to show our faith in them".
Despite finding themselves in a commanding position in the tie, Mendilibar is certainly not taking his side's passage into the last 16 for granted. "If they get a goal, the nerves may set in. Playing in two competitions provides an opportunity for those that don't usually play and I think that Sporting will come here and fight hard to make it through to the next round. The result from the first leg could well prove to be dangerous. If we go out thinking that the job is done, we're sure to get a nasty surprise. Our plan is play as if the tie was still at 0-0".
With just three matchdays remaining until the halfway point of the campaign, the Eibar boss offered the following assessment of the season so far, "We're having a very good campaign". "We've got two more points than we had at the same stage last year. That bodes well and I believe that we've got a competitive side who have a chance of winning every game, which is something that gives gives our belief a boost. We hope to continue on in the same vein for the rest of the season".
In Mendilibar's view, the fact that most of the Armeros' points have come on home soil is something that happens "to the majority of teams". "If we had managed to collect as many points on the road as we have at home, we'd be in the Champions League places. Playing at home gives you that strength when things get tough".