Make your stadium a fort. That is the desire of most of the teams, players and coach, because, if they achieve it, reaching the objectives is closer.
The Elche coach, Francisco Rodríguez, is building that fort and since his arrival the Elche team has been very strong at the Martínez Valero. The franjiverde team has played three games at home with the coach from Almería and the results could not be better: two wins and one draw and seven points out of a possible nine, which have allowed them to make a significant jump in the standings. In addition, in two of them, he has managed to keep a clean sheet
Francisco made his debut against Cádiz, in a match that was presented as crucial for the future as it was a direct rival. Elche won 3-1, being far superior to the Andalusian team.
In the second match at the new coach’s home, the team from Elche received Granada. The result was a tie to zero. It was a very hard-fought point playing the entire second half with one less player due to the expulsion of Diego González. In addition, a goal against Guido Carrillo was annulled and they did not point out a possible penalty to the Argentine striker. The tie left a taste almost of victory.
Last Sunday against Villarreal was an important game test. Emery’s team arrived at Martínez Valero in the midst of a good run of results and in full comeback in the standings. Francisco’s team came back strong at home and won 1-0.
Since the arrival of the Almeria coach, the franjiverde team has only conceded one goal in their home games. It was in the first against Cádiz and it came with 2-0 on the scoreboard, so it hardly had an impact on the result.
The role of the fans
The support of the fans is also proving decisive for the good run at Martínez Valero. Especially in view of the refereeing controversies, in the last two games against Granada and Villarreal, the franjiverdes fans have been more incisive when it comes to cheering.
In the match against Granada, the players themselves recognized that the fans were key to being able to add the tie for their support in the most difficult moments when they played with ten.
Last Sunday against Villarreal there was also a crowd that was very involved from the start. That hobby-team communion should help achieve the goal of permanence.
There is still a lot of championship ahead, but if Elche is able to maintain the good line of the last home games, it will be in their power to achieve the goal of permanence.
The group from Elche has to receive direct rivals in the fight for salvation during the second round at the Martínez Valero, such as Alavés, who will be next; Osasuna, Getafe, Mallorca or Rayo Vallecano. Five matches of the so-called “his” particular League, which can and should be decisive.
Together with those opponents, Barcelona, Valencia, Real Sociedad and Atlético de Madrid will also arrive in this second round of the El Licitano coliseum. The victory against Villarreal should also serve to convince them that the franjiverdes can also score points against this type of rival.
Lucas Boyé, scorer of the winning goal in last Sunday’s match, assured that “the latest victories reflect the good work we have been doing for a long time. Luckily, it is now backed up by the results.”
The Argentine striker highlights the good atmosphere that prevails in the locker room: “The working climate is great and now we want to stretch the distance and the margin with the relegation places.”
For his part, Gerard Gumbau points out that “we are happy because the work is paying off”, and considers as one of the keys to improvement that “each of the players has raised the individual level and is joining the group. We were working very well and we were convinced that with the winning mentality that the coach demands of us, the results would come,” he argued.
Lastly, goalkeeper Edgar Badia, who again kept a clean sheet, acknowledges that “we have taken an important step forward with the victory against Villarreal. The team is competing very well, but we have to continue because there is still a long season to go.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.