Alcaraz: There may be new arrivals and exits
Granada manager Lucas Alcaraz has outlined that just because his team beat Osasuna on the opening day of the season, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a foregone conclusion it will happen again, stressing his team will have to be at their best, whilst also clarifying that Senegalese defender Pape Diakhaté looks set to leave the club.
With the visit of Osasuna on Saturday, following the convincing 4-0 thrashing handed out to Real Valladolid last weekend, Granada manager Lucas Alcaraz simply explained at his press call ahead of the game tomorrow, that his team will face this next challenge with the same enthusiasm.
“As we faced the last game, we’ll face the next; with desire to compete, to do things well, knowing the difficulty of the game and keen to three points.”
Granada beat Osasuna away at El Sadar on the opening day of the season, but Alcaraz refused to set that as any reference as to how the game will go against them at Nuevo Los Cármenes on Saturday.
“Not even if we’d played them last week. Did the first game at Alcorcón serve as any reference for the second? There are no references. We have a game planned and then later there’s the unplanned aspect, which develops depending on how the game plays out.”
Heavy rainfall in Granada over the last two days may make the pitch conditions difficult, but Alcaraz insisted that he’s looking beyond that and the good Osasuna performances of late, concentrating more on getting the most out of his own team.
“Obviously it’s not going to benefit us if the pitch is affected by the heavy rain and also, they’re on a good run, but I always try to think about my own team and the arguments we have to win. That’s what we’ve worked on and not the difficulty of our opponent.”
Algerian playmaker Yacine Brahimi has been a doubt ahead of the game, having missed training on Thursday, but the Granada manager assured that he’ll be able to participate.
“He’s fine. He was rested yesterday as a precaution. He had some discomfort above his ankle and didn’t train, so as not to aggravate it further, though if he’d had to play yesterday, he would have played.”
There are minor injury doubts elsewhere in the Granada squad though, as Alcaraz confirmed that he may call up some players from the B team.
“We have eighteen available and we’ll see what happens during the rest of the day, because Dani Benítez and others have knocks. We’ll see about maybe using one or two lads from the B team.”
With the January transfer market now in full swing Alcaraz spoke about how the club analyses possible movements.
“During the season we exchange opinions and when the winter market comes, we practically have a common opinion of what the club needs. From there, we have the month of January in which we can review these opinions, along with anything unexpected that arises, both with new arrivals or players exiting.”
Alcaraz also spoke well of how the club have managed often busy winter transfer moves in the past, whilst suggesting he’s confident in the work of sporting director Juan Carlos Cordero to deal with transfers, whilst he concentrates on working with the players he currently has.
“The matter of new signings is in good hands. That has been shown for a number of years now, that the sporting management has worked well, so as such, I prefer to focus myself on the team.”
Following reports that Senegalese central defender Pape Diakhaté has requested to leave the club, Alcaraz confirmed that the player isn’t in the squad at the weekend because of an injury, but also because of that request.
“There are two circumstances. One is that he has a knee problem and can’t train with the team and the other is at the sporting management level, he has asked to leave, because he has better proposals and the club is considering his posture. I don’t like to go against the will of the players. If he has a better proposal, then we’re not going to go against his will.”
Amidst concerned questions about having sufficient defensive cover, should Diakhaté leave, Alcaraz remained confident in his squad, either with the players he has, or that the club will bring in new faces before the close of the transfer window.
“I’m calm about it, but in the situation of players leaving, normally all teams have four central defenders. I’m not going to say that I want five or three, for the team to be competitive and that we have players for every eventuality. The club is open to working in this direction and until 31st January, there may be new arrivals and exits.”