"The team has taken a step forward and is making good progress; we don't want to stop now because the season is far from over"
Diego Jabalquinto / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Xabi Alonso talked shop in a La Gula publicity event. The midfielder discussed Saturday's match in Gijon.
"We feel fine and we're having a fantastic run. We're earning very good results and also playing very well. We're concerned about doing a good job. If we do, we'll have a greater chance of winning our games, starting with Saturday's match in Gijon. I have great respect for Sporting at their stadium because they need points and we believe every point at stake is essential."
"There's no doubt we're working well at a collective level and we all benefit from that individually. I don't know if this is my best season, but I'm happy with how things are turning out for the team. The season is long and there will be room for many more thrills and some upsets, but we hope the latter are few. I'm very happy because the team has taken a step forward, it's making progress, and it's playing well. We don't want to stop now because the season is far from over."
"Cristiano Ronaldo didn't train with us today. I don't know if he'll be fit in time for the match in Gijon. Let's see if he continues to recover well. I hope he can play on Saturday, but he didn't train today. The tackle he suffered against Atletico was clearly very harsh, but luckily the injury wasn't as serious as it coould have been. We know and accept that football is a contact sport. You sometimes receive blows and, due to how the game unfolds, give also them inadvertently. We accept that. I don't think it should be discussed any longer."
"I feel physically fine, but won't be able to play at El Molinon due to a five booking suspension. One tries to balance his efforts despite playing so much, as well as prepare and rest well for each match. I will use this week to train well and rest."
"Our manager will decide what to do in the Clasico and he'll prepare the match deeming what's best for the team on the day. We're only thinking about our match on Saturday in Gijon. We'll then play in Amsterdam and, finally, in the Clasico."