Photo: Javi Calleja, deep in thought before the match against Rangers FC en el Estadio de la Cerámica.

Calleja: “We needed to kill the game off”

20 / 09 / 2018

The Villarreal manager regrets that his team did not sentence the match sooner against Rangers

A draw that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. That’s how Villarreal manager, Javi Calleja, described his team's result against Rangers FC (2-2). "It's a point that doesn't feel like much. We started very well, but we didn't manage to go two goals up which would have let us relax more. We didn't know how to kill the game off", Calleja commented. 

In Calleja’s eyes, his side deserved to take away the three points: "We have to learn from this match. We can’t let these games pass us by. We should have won the three points. It wasn’t down to overconfidence. We needed to sentence the match and and as we didn't do that Rangers were able to equalise with two plays where we should have defended better."

Muscular problems for Funes Mori meant the Argentinean had to leave the field of play. For Calleja this was key to the final result: "He just has cramp, but he had to leave the pitch and the team felt that. He was bringing us a lot physically in the middle of the pitch."  

In the other match in Group G, Rapid Vienna won 2-0 against Spartak Moscow. Despite that, Calleja assures that the Yellows are still well in the competition: "It’s the first match and we still depend on ourselves. There’s a lot left to play in this season’s UEFA Europa League."

The Yellows boss used several players that did not play against Leganés. Nigerian youngster Samu Chukwueze even made his debut for the first team. "We’re using nearly all of our players and I think that’s a good thing. We need the whole squad. Today, for example, Samu Chukwueze made his debut, who is a player with a great future, but he has to carry on working hard."

Lastly, Calleja talked about the upcoming derby against Valencia at the Estadio de la Cerámica (Sunday, 4:15pm CEST): "Regarding Sunday's match against Valencia we will look to pick up the first three points at our stadium. We're going back to the league after winning at Leganés and now it's time to do that at home."


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