Jorge Sampaoli in the press room
First team


Sampaoli trusts that the players he has available for the trip to Balaídos will get the job done before any January transfers are made
Cuerpo Superior

Jorge Sampaoli addressed the media this Thursday ahead of Friday's league match in Vigo: "We have been preparing as we usually would, set on developing as a collective and making use of every session to work on our shape and style of play which is improving all the time. We are hoping that the intensity of LaLiga, different to that of the cup, will be enough to prepare us well for this game". Regarding the players, the boss acknowledged that "Lamela and Suso aren't up to full fitness and haven't had the right preparation in the build-up to the game. We hope that they can fill in wherever they are needed. When it comes to squad depth, it's a well-known fact that we have very few available for this tie. We've had to take a lot of players from Sevilla Atlético so as to fill up the names on the team sheet for tomorrow. We hope that the arrival of some players might improve the situation in the short term and bolster our numbers for the competitions in which we still feature". 

On tomorrow's game, the Argentine hopes that "the team can compete to the level that is expected of them and that this small group of players has the desire to win and takes belief into the game. Only by doing this will we have chances against a competitive team like Vigo. They haven't had too many players at the World Cup, they are strong at home and have had plenty of time to prepare themselves".  

In terms of transfers, Sampaoli made it clear that"it doesn't depend on me. Anything I could hope for would be on the verge of complaining. I have to adjust to the players I have at my disposal. I came up against Badé in France last year. I think he's young, quick and got potential. He's coming here off the back of not playing and he needs to adapt himself to a different shape. Sometimes the time to adjust to different ideas comes very soon, sometimes in the mid-term, and sometimes not at all. The number or the quality of players needed to improve the team is unknown. Hopefully, Badé doesn't take too long to adapt himself." 

"Coupled with the problems we have had with Marcao, Rekik and Telles, the plan is to headhunt a left-footer to make up for the shortage in this area. Dragovic is right-footed and he can play on the left but he couldn't play central of the two centre-backs or at full-back. There we only have Acuña who has to play because of the numbers, despite only just getting back from the World Cup. If this wasn't the case, he wouldn't be in the squad after having completed just two training sessions. On reinforcements, I can discuss some names, but I don't make the decisions". Whatsmore, Sampaoli commented on the three World cup winners: "Acuña has come back fitter than when he left. Montiel has arrived back fine, although he is suspended for two games. Papu has had a problem with his ankle ever since the game against Australia which ultimately ruled him out of the tournament". 

"Papu has had a problem with his ankle ever since the game against Australia which ultimately ruled him out of the tournament"

With reference to the international break, the boss acknowledges that "the preparation from the friendlies, along with the players from the youth team, gave the players the chance to gather some momentum and develop. The most difficult thing is trying to change the course of the match with so many alterations, but I think that those that are going to play are going to compete and try to replicate what they did against Monaco and Benfica. We have grown as a team and I hope that we put in a good performance. It is a long season. It won't finish tomorrow, far from it. Each game is important and we have to be able to, with what we have available to us, get out from the bottom half of the table and do it in an organised fashion. Criticism of our own performances is what can incentivise us to win games because as a unit the team is far more in-sync than from when I first arrived". 

The boss was also asked questions regarding certain players: "Januzaj has something special that got him the move here, but he hasn't got used to the team's momentum and that has to lead to no further involvement. With the club's need for the team to escape this current situation and because he has played well, Carlos makes us think that in the future he could have his chance. It's not because he is a youth team player, what's important is that the player respects the badge. We need players that make us win football matches, no matter where they come from".  

Lastly, Sampaoli talked about Celta's home form, which will only drive them on: "The Celta structure is long-standing. It's noticeable the level of talent they have on show there. They have gone toe-to-toe with difficult opponents at their place and it is going to be tough for us. In terms of the weather, I think that pitch has good drainage and I don't believe there will be anything that will stop it from being a good game".