Karanka: "Every game is vital for us"

Aitor Karanka in press conference
Aitor Karanka

Are you addressing the match as a final?
"Every game is vital for us, especially now that we are eight points behind the leaders. Our match against Espanyol is just another game we'll have to win because they are all important."

Do you have decided on the lineup?
"We have been talking about this all week, but we're not going to say it to the players before the match."

Among the potential players may be Pepe?
"The coach has already said how important Pepe is to the team. He's been training all week and is ready to help."

Do Adebayor and Karim put you in problems?
"We are delighted about the arrival of Emmanuel. He's done a lot in very little time and that's good for all of us. He has bonded wonderfully well with the squad and he's always smiling. Benzema was playing marvelously well before he arrived. Competition is bringing out the best in them, and that is obviously good for the team."

It is a problem for players to play with the national teams on Wednesday?
"We are happy because all our internationals returned in good form and are ready to play. Our men are proud to play for their countries and they have to represent them when needed."

It seems that Mourinho is more interested for the Champions than the League with this trip to Lyon...
"Our coach has a different working method. He is used to going to see a game of a future opponent, but he knows tomorrow's match is currently the most important fixture for us, and he will be there. It may seem surprising over here, but he's used to doing this. He is happy with the staff that helps him to prepare for games and to analyse rivals. Even our players are surprised by the amount of information they receive on opponents."

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