Team Struggles with Injuries, but Coach Sees Value in Consecutive Victories
Despite facing a string of injuries, Juan Copa, the coach of Liceo, acknowledges the tremendous effort put forth by his players in recent weeks. The team has been plagued by bad luck, with players getting injured one after another without sufficient time to recover. However, Copa recognizes the significance of three consecutive victories, including their latest 4-2 win against Girona on Saturday. This victory holds double the value due to the physical strain his players have endured.
A Herculean Effort with Limited Resources
In the match against Girona, Copa had only nine players available, including two goalkeepers and seven court players. Six of them were from the first team, and they shared the entire duration of the game. To complete the lineup, Copa included Jaime Mendez, a young player from 2005, who had been training with the team in recent weeks. Copa expressed his regret for not being able to give Mendez the opportunity to debut in front of the home crowd. He mentioned that if they had scored one more goal, he would have substituted himself into the game.
The dynamics of the last two matches have posed additional challenges for Liceo, as they have been more depleted of players. Despite winning 1-6 in Lleida, the match remained goalless until the final ten minutes. Copa acknowledges that matches at the Palace tend to be lengthy affairs. This was evident in their game against Girona, where two avoidable goals forced them to intensify their efforts in the second half. However, they found solace in an early goal after the break and ultimately secured a 4-2 victory, thanks to the contributions of Dava Torres. Copa praised the team captains, who both scored a brace over the weekend, but emphasized the importance of every player stepping up.
Challenging Times Ahead in December
Looking ahead, Copa hopes to regain some of his injured players as they approach the demanding fixtures leading up to the Christmas break. He is optimistic about Tombita’s availability for the match against Barça this Saturday at the Palau. Tombita, who suffered a broken nose during training two weeks ago, will try on a protective mask this week. Additionally, Copa anticipates an early return for Guido Pellizzari. He expressed his desire for Pellizzari to be back in action by December.
While the recent matches have presented challenges in managing the squad’s workload, the upcoming weeks will be even more demanding. Liceo will embark on a six-match journey, with the Palau serving as their base camp. This journey includes two classic encounters in the OK Liga and the Champions League, as well as three league matches against Reus, Voltregà, and Alcoi. They will also face Barcelos in a European competition at Riazor on December 14th.