Calleja: “We dreamed of starting like this”

19 / 06 / 2020

The Villarreal manager hailed his players after beating Granada

Villarreal manager Javi Calleja hailed his players after the important win over Granada (0-1). The Yellows now have three consecutive wins since the return of LaLiga after the break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The truth is we dreamed of starting like this, and also playing like we are, with a defensively solidity that helps us get win after win," commented Calleja.

The head coach made a total of seven changes from the starting XI that beat Mallorca. "The players who have come in have done well, there were a lot of changes and everyone was at a great level. There is a squad to be up there towards the top of the table. The team wasn't weaker despite seven changes and I'm proud of that. If someone isn't ready to play, they won't, and everyone here is ready to lend a hand," he underlined.

With regards to possibilities of finishing in the European spots, Calleja underlined his ambition but wanted to keep his feet on the ground: "We're going to fight to be as high as possible on a game-by-game basis. We're dreaming big, but with our feet on the ground."

Villarreal have nine points from their last three games, scoring three times. "We would like to kill off the games with a bigger margin and end the games in the opposition half, but we've known how to defence. We have to try and dominate the games, but you also have to take into account our opponents and fatigue."

Sofian Chakla made his LaLiga debut, playing impressively. "That's one of the great stories today for me. In the Copa del Rey, he showed what he can do a bit, and today, he was extraordinary, with character and strength. His belief in himself and his hard work have paid off. When you don't stop fighting and work hard, you get your reward. His game was great. He's a great player and an even better person."

Calleja concluded by underlining the importance of the three points against Granada: "Today, it was important to increase the distance between us and Granada and we knew how to interpret the game to get three points. Now, we don't really even have time to enjoy it. We didn't kill off the game, but we had chances to be calmer. We managed the game a lot better, we found space, we got into the opposition half and we could slow the game down. We were more impressive today than against Mallorca the other day."

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