The Valencia CF coach was concerned by the state of the pitch at Mendizorroza
Marcelino García Toral gave his opinion on the 2-1 defeat to Alavés after the final whistle at Mendizorroza, and commented on the state of the pitch and controversy over the amount of time added on at the end of the first half.
Assessing the game
"What happpened to us today has an explanation that is both difficult and simple: We started the game very well, on a pitch that was unfit for football. Half of the surface was frozen. We had to play on it, because the greatest league in the world allowed it. We conceded a goal from a set piece, and we knew that this was one of Alavés' strong points. They had two corners and scored two goals.
"The team reacted well when it was 1-1. The goal to make it 2-1 was in the minute that the referee added on after stoppage time. We should obviously have defended better.
In the second half, although we dominated possession, we didn't create really clear chances on goal. It was difficult to play football here today."
"I wasn't surprised by Alavés. They are a side who defend well, are strong on set pieces, who score goals and who do things well. They are where they are for a reason. We knew their strengths, but we were unable to defend those two moves. I'm disappointed with how we dealt with those set pieces. We didn't defend them well, and that's why we lost."
"I don't think the game should have taken place. In England the climate is much worse than here, and I've never seen half of a pitch frozen like we saw here today. It isn't an excuse, but if we want to be the best league then we have to take care over these things. I think that in 2019 there are solutions that can avoid this. I want to make clear that it's no excuse, because it was the same for both teams."
Mistakes on set pieces
"When the result is so close, a team needs to be efficient in the area, and whilst we have been that way in many games, we weren't today. I don't remember any chance for Alavés that wasn't a set piece. Every game is going to be tight, because you don't have 15 or so more goals. From the bench, I saw that we dominated the game, whilst Alavés had three chances."
"We opted for that because we thought that they'd play directly -without us knowing about the condition of the pitch. We thought we'd have to counter Alavés having players who are very good in the air, and that us being without a natural defensive midfielder we would need to put more players in that part of the pitch for a numerical advantage off the second ball."
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