Monday, December 11, 2023

«Antequera CF does not set limits»

The young Antequera CF coach, Javier Medina, is ambitious. After defeating Mérida at home and rising to sixth place in the standings, his speech both in the locker room and in the press room was quite critical. He doesn’t want relaxation. His team suffered two defeats in the first two rounds, against the affiliates of Atlético and Real Madrid, but has not lost again since then. This Sunday, from 6 p.m., a new league matchday, against CF Intercity, in El Maulí.

The draw at the Colombino on matchday 3 was a turning point. Was it difficult for you to get your players up after those first two consecutive setbacks?

From the first game we were all aware that we had to focus on building. We could not be permanently, neither before nor now, pending only on the results. We therefore understood how much remained to be done and we did not get nervous. With the Madrid reserve team we were, in fact, much superior, with many scoring chances. Our fans could see it. We stood up and we didn’t deserve to lose.

Against Recreativo, one of the keys was knowing how to stop the star that you had last season, Luis Alcalde.

It was a different game. What we did best was in fact being able to keep Luis well tied. We were coming off two defeats, they started attacking us early and we had to prioritize having control. In a very different way to the way we approach each game, which is to take the initiative to have scoring chances.

Do you think the key to this great start was in the preseason?

We played very good games and by then we kept the fans very excited. In La Rosaleda we managed to tie and against Almería, a First Division team, we also tied. Here, in addition, we have a club with clear ideas, that does not set limits and that is aware of what its situation is.

At first, with two defeats, he had to activate his players for the following matches. Is it the same job he has right now, with the intention of no relaxation?

I tell them that teams are competitive either because of the fear of losing or because they have gained confidence. Now, with confidence restored, without so much fear of losing, I ask you to calm down. But it is no less true that, once the stress is gone, I have to try not to let the level go down. We have had two wins in our favor, we have won in Mérida, we must try to do things well and not lose the initial idea, that of continuing to build.

A first derby against him will come soon Malaga CF. To what extent will it be a special clash?

Already in preseason when we faced them, tremendous excitement was generated. We were all looking forward to that day. It was a very nice game, especially seeing the atmosphere, how the people turned out. I hope we do well, after seeing how the Malaguista team is working and what they are achieving.

What goal do you set for yourself at this point in the competition?

I always tell my players that I am not going to set limits for them. You have to think about long-term objectives. It can harm us both to think that there is no room for ambition here, and that we are only in the competition to secure permanence, and to decisively aspire to move up the category for one more season. I tell my footballers to play football well. In fact, the other day I got angry with them, winning in Mérida, because we have to be more demanding.

What is the image you hope to convey about this Antequera CF?

We have to try to be very dominant. That we generate scoring chances very easily. It is the best way to overcome your rival. Although they defend us better and better, we are also growing a lot defensively.

What do you say to the fans of El Maulí?

Enjoy and so you can get infected and want to come every Sunday. If they have a good time, everything will be better, they will still want to come back. Already in preseason we saw them very excited, especially about the important rivals that are going to come this year. On Real Madrid day, for example, there was a historic full house.

Who is behind your sporting success as a coach?

My father and my grandfather, above all, who started with very little and achieved many things through work and effort. I am aware that I am a leader of a group and what they did serves as an example to me. But in terms of football for me, Johan Cruyff was the coach who changed the way we see football in this country. He triumphed in Holland and from there he brought us another vision, that football is not to suffer but to enjoy.


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