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Moyes, no false promises on La Real’s European chances

Moyes, no false promises on La Real’s European chances

“It’ll be very difficult,” the Real Sociedad coach said today. “All that matters right now is winning the next game”.

David Moyes was quick to nip speculation that Real Sociedad are certain of Europa League qualification in the bud in today’s press conference. The Basque side could mathematically nudge Málaga, the team they visit this weekend, out of eighth place but Moyes is urging his players to be realistic.

“I think it would be a massive achievement if we were to catch Málaga, considering where we were several months ago. It will be very hard to catch them; just looking at the points, there’s eight points difference with 10 games left to play,” he told reporters in Zubieta today. “We will try to change things by beating them – if we can go there and get a result then we can look to see whether we can catch them. I think it’ll be a hard thing to do but there’s a chance and if there’s a chance then we have to try - but the most important thing is to win at La Rosaleda”.

Not that Moyes is ruling out that “massive achievement” entirely. “I hope we are still fighting for a European place, I still think it’ll be very hard to make Europe… the important thing is to try and win this game [against Málaga]. I genuinely feel that the players have improved – physically and mentally; they are a little bit tougher, we’re passing the ball better but we are still trying to improve – the best improvement we could make is to starting winning our games regularly – we’ve won a few which has helped us to move away from the bottom half of the table,” he continued.

Saturday’s rivals have only lost three games at La Rosaleda this season but go into the game after two defeats away from home. “I haven’t been surprised by Málaga this season,” Moyes said. “Last season they didn’t do so well but in pervious seasons they have done well and they’ve always had good players. I do know that they have introduced some very good and exciting young players, who’ve come up from the youth teams. They’ve had a very good season this year”.

The coach didn’t want to say whether Mexican striker Carlos Vela would return to the starting line-up on Saturday. “He’s a doubt for the game,” Moyes admitted. “He trained very well on Monday but on Tuesday he felt a bit uncomfortable with his knee. He’s not trained since then but I am hoping he will train on Friday, so right now I would say that he is a doubt for the game”.

Moyes added that it’s evident that the tide has turned for La Real but he won’t be making any false promises: “The players are in good spirits, they’re happier and the position in the table is much better. But one away win all season isn’t enough – and it’s very difficult to finish in a high position if you’ve only won once on the road. We must understand that we have some difficult games coming up and we have to try and take points from those games”.

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