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"On the pitch the coach's method is based on shouting"

Spain and Atlético Madrid striker Sonia Bermúdez tells AS why the national side has demanded Ignacio Quereda be sacked.

It could be seen as opportunistic that you have asked for a change of manager after being knocked out of the World Cup. Why now?

We didn’t do it because we got knocked out of the World Cup. That was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. This has been coming for some time. We have kept quiet for many years because of fear and we’ve put up with a lot of things. We haven’t got anything against the federation or the president, but we’ve asked for a change because we need one.

You spoke of fear… of what, or who?

I’ve been in the national team for some time. I started when I was 16 and now I’m 30 and during that time I’ve seen a lot of things, players who have argued with him and were never called up again… but after so many years, at last, we’re united and that has given us strength. We’re not going to give up on this.

Quereda insinuated that not all of the players backed the open letter…

That’s not true. We are completely together in this and every step we take will be done by consensus. In all my years in the team I’ve never seen such a united group.

What brought on the decision to ask that Quereda be removed?

We need a change because we do not trust our manager, he doesn’t connect with us and we feel that after 27 years in charge it’s an era that has come to an end. In that whole time we’ve only won one title. If we want to grow as a team we felt that we needed to affect this change. We don’t care how old the coach is, but if he isn’t in touch with the group then he’s on a highway to nothing.

Your teammate Vero Boquete has also complained about your treatment. Has that affected the team’s performance on the pitch?

The manager is very aloof, with a tough character. He wants to control everything, even interviews and what is said in them. And when somebody wants to take on all that at the end of the day he’s not doing the job he’s supposed to be doing. On the pitch his methods are based on shouting and getting angry. After a mistake, we know that a shout is coming, or a bad gesture, or whatever… and shouting for the sake of shouting isn’t good for a footballer. Another thing: he calls us little kids. I can’t see Vicente del Bosque doing that somehow. It’s a question of respect.

What’s the next step?

We’re hoping that the federation will listen to us and will find a solution.

But he’s said he won’t step down…

We aren’t even considering for a moment that he’ll carry on. At least, that’s what we hope.

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