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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Emery hopes to bring unity

Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

New Sevilla coach Unai Emery says his primary concern is getting everyone to pull together on and off the pitch, with predecessor Michel having left blaming deep structural problems at the club for its current problems.

Michel was sacked on Monday afternoon after overseeing the team's worst first half of the season in a decade. Sevilla are currently closer to the relegation zone than a Europa League spot after taking five points from the last seven Primera Division games, a situation that led to angry fan protests at training on Monday morning.

Former Valencia and Spartak Moscow coach Emery took his first training session on Tuesday, and afterwards told reporters that he was looking to bring an improved attitude to his new team.

"A state of confidence, harmony and union must be created so that things can improve," Emery said. "The idea is to have a team which is aggressive with and without the ball. The tactical shape will not be as important as the attitude of the players. This is the job to do immediately and then we can polish things on the tactical side."

Although the club has been heavily rumoured to be trying to offload stars such as Alvaro Negredo, Ivan Rakitic and Fabricio Fazio - with Michel earlier indicating that sales would take place - Emery said he did not expect many players to leave during the winter transfer window.

"It there is a need, the coach must help with what is required," Emery said. "The exits will be minimal, if there are any. I believe fully in this squad. The primary resources are there to contribute to improving this situation."

For his first game in charge, at Real Zaragoza in Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg, Emery has included all his available players, with just midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia missing from the side beaten 2-0 at Valencia on Saturday night.

Michel was also at the club's Ciudad Deportiva Cisneros Palacios training facility on Tuesday morning to say goodbye to players and staff. On Monday night, the former Rayo Vallecano and Getafe boss said he accepted the decision taken by club president Jose Maria del Nido, and that his year in charge at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan had not been a success.

"It is logical as the results have been very bad," Michel said. "A club like Sevilla cannot permit results like this. Last year when we arrived we had 26 points after four more games; now we have 22. Things are more or less the same, and (predecessor) Marcelino was let go.

"I am not hurting. I have also said that this is a great club. There are no criticisms from either side, not from me and not from the president. You must accept (the decision). We dropped the club's annual budget by almost €50 million, but that is not a justification."

Michel claimed that the work he had done in improving the attitude of the club's playing staff would help Emery to be more successful in the position.

"We changed a lot of things," he said. "That will help Unai Emery. With his experience and capacity that he has shown at Valencia, Lorca and Almeria, he will have success here. I am sure of that and furthermore I hope so. Our great frustration has been not bringing the progress made at training into games - that is my responsibility."

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