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Sorry guys, been really busy lately.

Real Mallorca coach Hector Cuper is still confident his side can avoid the drop despite travelling to Villarreal on the back of two consecutive defeats.

The Balearic side, who have 21 points, are four adrift from safety in the Primera Liga after losing a tense battle with Levante at the Son Moix last weekend, and they face another tough test against a Villarreal side chasing a Champions League berth.

"I am optimistic that at the end of the season we will have 41 or 42 points and the key is to win the matches against our direct rivals," the Argentinian said.

"I am a football trainer and I am prepared for everything, I am not going to give up. I have to be the strongest and lift the morale of the players."

Cuper called on his side to forget the disappointment of the 2-1 defeat to Levante and come out fighting as Mallorca's season enters a crucial phase.

"It was a hard blow for us," he said.

"We did the difficult thing which was to score a goal and then we made collective mistakes which led to a completely different match.

"It was a confidence-sapping experience but we need now to face up to this and react.

"We are not so bad but the first goal they scored broke us. We had a terrible 20 minutes which broke our spirits but now we have to fight. It is difficult and tough but this is a test for us.

"We must correct the errors but at the very least, the last defeat has not undone what we have achieved recently.

"It was a painful defeat against Levante but we have to recuperate and I think we can," he added.

"I have spoken to the players and said that now we have one less game but there are still plenty more. Nothing has been decided yet and we are not yet at the end of the road.

"Victory is possible for any team and we need to be positive which will help us to take things forward.

However, the former Valencia and Internazionale boss knows he could be in for a torrid time against one of the Primera Liga's form sides.

"Villarreal play good football and are a solid block," Cuper said.

"They are doing very well at the moment and have a good balance although they lost at the weekend (1-0 at Real Zaragoza).

"The 3-2 win against Atletico (Madrid) was especially important to them and in that game they pulled two goals back, which shows their resilience."

Villarreal dropped out of a European place thanks to the Zaragoza defeat although they are still only two points behind third-placed Sevilla.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini spoke at length to Juan Roman Riquelme in training as the Argentinian playmaker has not been performing to his usual standards of late, although he was more concerned with the reasons behind last week's loss.

"It was a bad game for us and mainly because we lacked any power in attack and at the back we were insecure," said Pellegrini.

soccernet


Normal preview service will resume this weekend. :smileani:

I expect 3 points from tonight's game, Mallorca are having a very poor season.
 
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