Villarreal head coach Unai Emery and defender Raúl Albiol appeared in front of the media this lunchtime to analyse the build-up to the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals against GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Thursday, 9pm CEST).
The Basque manager underlined that it will be a tough tie, but one to try and enjoy: “Everything that’s nice is always difficult to achieve. We’re in a decisive and an important moment. The team is going into the tie hungry after a difficult route so far, which gets tougher each round. This tie is going to test our capabilities.”
Unai Emery hailed the Croatian side’s footballing abilities, after they knocked out Tottenham Hotspur in the Round of 16: “They’re a team with great individual qualities. They are in a good place mentally. They are an opponent who always play to win and can play in a number of different styles. They have very dynamic players and they are effective on the counter-attack. It will be an extremely tough match, where we need to be capable of finding answers to distinct situations.”
Despite the team’s excitement in Europe, the Yellows head coach has underlined the respect for the UEFA Europa League that they have: “We don’t think beyond this tie. We know that it’s a very difficult competition and we don’t think about the future. We’re focused on enjoying the tie and show the best version of ourselves against Dinamo Zagreb.”
Albiol: “We’re excited to achieve great things with Villarreal”
Villarreal defender Raúl Albiol expects a tightly-contested tie against Dinamo Zagreb: “There is not much between the two teams. We need to continue how we’ve been playing in recent games. It will be hard, but we will try and get the victory.”
The Yellows No.3 shared how the team was feeling ahead of an exciting challenge: “We are excited to compete and achieve great things with Villarreal. It’s a club that deserves it and we are going give our all to achieve that.”
To conclude, the centre-back hailed the qualities of the Yellows’ next opponent: “They’re a talented team, used to winning in their country. We want to show our commitment and not make any mistakes because they know how to capitalise on them. To win, we will need to use our weapons, press and go into the game trying to find a goal.”