Martinez not predicting easy ride

Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martínez will ignore the Spanish media who have predicted an easy game against Motherwell.

Last Updated: 22/08/12 at 21:05 Post Comment

Levante: Preparing for Europa League clash with Motherwell

Levante: Preparing for Europa League clash with Motherwell

Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martínez will ignore the Spanish media who have predicted an easy game against Motherwell in the first-leg of their Europa League play-off at Fir Park on Thursday night.

The Valencia-based club will play European football for the first time following their sixth-placed finish in La Liga last season.

After the draw was made Martinez sent his scout, Inaki, to see the Steelmen draw 1-1 with St Johnstone at home in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and he was more impressed with Stuart McCall's men than the media back home.

Martinez said: "Our scout Inaki said the absolute opposite to what all the Spanish media said.

"They said it would be an easy game but the scout said the complete opposite, that it will be a very complicated game.

"We are asked a lot if we are favourites but to be fair it is a little bit illogical because if you look at it from our point of view, it is the first time that we have played in Europe.

"We certainly have been doing well in the Spanish league but tomorrow we go into this game 50-50 and also the fact that Motherwell have the home advantage puts us under pressure.

"They are like us, they are a small club and for them to come this far is a great for them also.

"And they have played in the Champions League qualifiers so we have a lot of respect for them and we realise this is going to be a tough game."

Martinez is looking forward to an historic night for his club.

"This is a really special game," he said. "There have been a lot of important games over the years, like the game against Athletic Bilbao last season which got us into Europe.

"It is a huge game for our fans and we are just hopeful that we get into the group stages."

The Levante coach, however, will be without Senegalise midfielder Pape Diop who was left behind because he did not have the required visa.

Martinez said: "If you know my character I do tend to get wound up and angry about things but given this situation all you can really do is have a lot of patience.

"The club made a lot of effort to sort it out but in the end there wasn't a solution to the situation.

"I probably did have him in mind to play tomorrow but these things happen and the fact is, it is a big game, there will be a great atmosphere so at the end of the day it will actually be the player himself who will be disappointed not to be here."

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