Wednesday, April 17

Badajoz appeals to the union of the New Nursery

Gorka Santamaría is congratulated by Jesús Clemente after scoring Badajoz’s first goal against Deportivo. / PAKOPÍ


Isaac Jové, who is still unable to sit on the bench, recovers Gorka Santamaría and Pardo to receive a historic visit that marks his playoff options

Javier Perez

A historic visit for a high-level game with a lot at stake. The Real Unión de Irún travels for the first time in its 120 years to Badajoz to play an official match. The New Nursery hosts an unprecedented and border duel in Badajoz lands that marks the playoff aspirations of the black and whites. The team from Badajoz measures its options against one of the ten founding clubs of the League and with four Copa del Rey titles.

Badajoz entrusts itself to that union of squad and fans forged in the face of misfortune due to institutional abandonment to cling to an illusion that will keep it alive in this final sprint of the season. The New Nursery provides that plus to try to get fully into the fight for the promotion phase. “The players don’t want to walk away and they have the ambition of wanting to fight for the playoffs,” says Isaac Jové. The black and white coach is aware of the importance of getting the three points ahead against a direct rival to confirm his options for that coveted fifth place. “We cannot ignore the importance of this game,” he acknowledges. And it is that with ten days to go until the curtain of the championship falls, any stumble can mean being ruled out of the objective. «The value of the points is the same, but everything changes at this point because the days are shortened. Each point you lose has no margin and is more difficult to recover, “recalls Isaac Jové.

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For this appointment, he recruits two fundamental pieces in the performance of the team such as Pardo and Gorka Santamaría, absent in his first defeat as coach of Badajoz against DUX. This way he can go back to his eleven type. Jové has all his players available, although in his case he will still not be able to sit on the bench for the seventh consecutive day as the federative rights continue to be blocked due to the club’s debt with Fuenlabrada for the transfer of Tahiru. “It’s still the same and I haven’t received any information that the situation is going to change,” he assumes.

For his part, Aitor Zulaika recovers Anatz Eluzondo after his sanction last day, but loses Miguel Santos for completing the card cycle, in addition to having the doubts of Beobide and Mikel Pradera.

Real Unión does not arrive at its best moment after chaining three defeats in a row, a negative pothole that widens to four in the last five days. But Jové does not trust and insists on putting all the senses on the pitch. “The rival presents its best numbers away from home and has the same ambition to enter the playoffs.” The trainer based in Cartagena is committed to giving continuity to that change produced in the team and that was cut last Sunday. “We have to continue in the same dynamics and competitive mentality.” And he looks in the mirror at the game against Deportivo two weeks ago. «The team was at a great height and that is why they can achieve things. They have it in their hand. I want the players to be well and we will have many options to win the game. Pay close attention and take into account the statistics because they are going to come to compete at the highest level. The coach of Real Unión also warns him, but not without first highlighting the black and white potential. «The best club last year in Second B, a great squad. But he will also meet another great club.” Zulaika appreciates the great moment of Badajoz. «The results have been accompanying them until now, they have found the key. It is a team that is on the rise, but I don’t say so, the results say so.”

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In that sense, Jové highlights the team’s reaction and acknowledges that entering the promotion phase is a challenge that motivates the dressing room. «Since I arrived we have managed to redirect the situation. In terms of ambition and positive mentality, we think of the playoff for distance and sensations.”

Badajoz has a unique opportunity to fully engage in the playoff, as it faces four of its next five games at the Nuevo Vivero as the visit to Extremadura is in between. “It is much better to play it at home. The team feels backed by the support of its fans.


    Gonzalo Cretazz; Dani Fernández, Pardo, Gorka Pérez, Josema Gallego; Jesus Clemente, Miguel Núñez, Isi Gómez, Zelu; Dani Aquino and Gorka Santamaria.

    Irazusta; Elosegui, Senar, Barbu, Kijera, Capelete, Elizondo, Rivero, Seguín, Llamas and Alain Oiartzun.

    Guzmán Mansilla (Andalusian).

    New Nursery, 9:00 p.m. (Footters).

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