Málaga CF narrowly lost to CD Leganés thanks to a goal from Arnaiz in minute 65 of play. Blue and White coach, Pepe Mel comments: “The goal stemmed from a mistake by us. We cleared the ball, but Leganés once again gained possession. It was four against one yet none of the four defenders focused on the mark. You can't leave a player like Arnaiz without setting a mark when the ball is under pressure. This is one of the clearest mistakes we made, and it cost us the match. We’re in a difficult moment in terms of confidence and these things happen. As soon as everything turned upside down, we made a change. Alberto asked to go off a minute later, Manolo's calf went... we have to calm down a bit, correct the mistakes that are punishing us, which are the areas. I think we should have more presence in the rival area. We’re going to try to be more forceful in our own area. The goals are coming from too obvious an oversight,” he stated.
There’s still time to react, with 96 points at stake in a lengthy competition. “The good thing is there are 32 games remaining and I see the team as having the potential to do things well. We were calm in the first half, we wanted Leganés to come out, we weren’t struggling at all. The first time we suffered was when we conceded the goal. We need to be stronger in the rival area and avoid making mistakes. In the previous match we also made two errors that almost cost us the match. We have a combination of veterans and young players on the team and the more experienced ones have to take over with these things,” he continued.
“What we wanted was to let Leganés out, for them to leave spaces, yet I think it was the other way around. We had the ball and barely suffered. We tried to play the second half in the same way, but when the opponent scores you have to change absolutely everything. Some of the more experienced players on the team need to impose their seniority more. The good thing is that in three days we have another important test. There are 32 matches left, a lot of points, and I see the team has potential. If not, we’d be in a bad way. We need to recover players, there are too many injuries at the moment, but when they return, we’ll be better,” he explained.
Effort and dominance without reward: “We’ve already experienced it. During the match against Villarreal B we had numerous chances, with too much effort and too little reward. The other day against Andorra we had a first half with a great deal of effort, many arrivals and zero goals. We wanted Leganés to come out, but it didn’t turn out like that. We had the ball, the first half was ours, but it's not enough. After the goal we continued doing the same thing, but it wasn’t enough. We need to be aware that we have to give much more,” he said.
There are many casualties within the MCF ranks: “There are a thousand ways to get to the path of the goal. We’re trying from the inside as the team doesn’t have too many resources on the outside. We try with Villalba, Febas, Jozabed, people who play in inside positions, yet we do have people on the outside who can help us. Pablo Hervías played for a while, he’s an important player for us, now we’re waiting for Gallar to return, for Luis Muñoz to recover... then we’ll be a more powerful team. What is clear is that, right now, the rival area is penalising us. We've conceded two goals in four games, it's normal, it's average, but we've only scored one. That’s what is penalising us,” he concluded.