March 30, 2013
Jemez: Everyone can give more
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.4||1.1|
|Goals against *||1.5||1.7|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-L-L||W-D-W-W-L|
|Last 5 away||W-W-L-D-W||L-L-L-L-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Rayo Vallecano | Malaga|
|12/22||A: Athletic Bilbao||1/4||H: Atletico Madrid|
|1/6||H: Villarreal||1/12||A: Levante|
|1/11||A: Getafe||1/17||H: Valencia|
|1/18||A: Elche||1/26||A: Barcelona|
|1/26||H: Atletico Madrid||2/2||H: Sevilla FC|
Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez is still not satisfied with his side's achievements this season, despite the club exceeding all expectations.
Rayo began the season as favourites for relegation but are currently ninth in the Primera Division table and will go level on points with Malaga in sixth place if they can beat them on Saturday.
However, the coach has demanded more of his team in the final 10 games of the season.
Jemez told reporters: "I would be disappointed if anyone thought we had performed to the best of our abilities so far. Everyone can still give more and we have still not played to our best. From now on, the league is going to demand even more of us and put everyone in their place. We still have a lot more to give.''
Jemez said that Malaga were "one of the best teams in Europe'' and had special words of praise for their coach Manuel Pellegrini, who he believes deserves a lot of credit for what his team has achieved this term.
He said: "Pellegrini has done an exceptional job. I normally say that when a team does well it is down to the players, but in this project, and after achieving everything they have achieved, you can really see what a difference their coach has made, his work has paid off.''
Rayo will be without injured forward Raul Tamudo, plus goalkeeper Ruben Martinez and midfielder Roberto Trashorras, who are both suspended.
Jose Manuel Casado, Leo Baptistao and Javier Fuego all return to the side after missing the 3-1 defeat away to Barcelona two weeks ago due to suspension, while 17-year-old midfielder Isi has retained his place in the squad after making his debut for the first team at the Nou Camp.
Pellegrini has insisted that his team will be fully focused on the match in Vallecas, and not on their Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
"The Champions League has an impact on you and there is a bit of tension due to next week's game, but we are only thinking about this match, and, as always, we will put out a team that we think are capable of winning,'' he said in a press conference.
Rayo beat Malaga the last time the two sides met, and although Pellegrini acknowledged Rayo's quality, he hopes his side can make amends for that result.
He said: "Rayo have very technically gifted players and they have proven very difficult opponents for every team they have played.
"We are going to try and win back the points we lost at La Rosaleda, but we know they play some of the best football in the league. It's a match between two teams who really know how to use the ball well.''
Pellegrini will have to make do without suspended midfielders Ignacio Camacho and Duda, but he has left Seba Fernandez and Diego Lugano out of the squad for the trip to Madrid to give them time to rest after returning from international duty with Uruguay.
Martin Demichelis, Manuel Iturra, Francisco Portillo and Julio Baptista all return to the squad.