TV pundit and RCD Espanyol supporter Guillem Balague features in the latest Europa League official matchday programme on Thursday evening.
Another £5 special edition programme has been produced for the last 32 tie at Molineux and Balague is joined by the likes of Romain Saiss and Jim McCalliog.
Snippets of Balague’s interview can be found below, with the full edition available online at shop.wolves.co.uk and around Molineux pre-match.
In December Abelardo Fernandez took over, what has he changed for the better at the RCDE Stadium?
He is as big on simplifying the game, as the emotional side of it. He saved Sporting Gijon in the past and promoted them as well and did really well with Alaves. Even though he’s a former Barcelona player, he’s made everybody click. He wants the defenders to defend, the midfielders to recover and deliver the ball and the forwards to score – nothing fancy. The players seem to have realised they are in a terrible position, and he’s already got more points than both previous managers. Getting a point against Barcelona for example, unexpectedly, gave us hope. After a couple of victories, at least points wise, we’re not far from safety. It doesn’t look the brightest, but it looks like 35 points could be enough to stay up this season, so he’s given us hope.
How has the Europa League provided rest bite for the Espanyol group this season?
Performances have been surprisingly good in the Europa League – in some cases, scoring goals and playing free-flowing football. Everybody is doing their job. It’s caught people by surprise and now it’s a bit of a distraction. Espanyol will lose 80m Euros if they get relegated and it’s a very competitive second division, so it’s not a priority, the Europa League, but sometimes it’s good to go into a competition expecting nothing and anything you get is a bonus.
What will Espanyol’s approach be to the knockout stages of the Europa League?
There will be changes to the league. The league will be the strongest side possible, but it would be disappointing for the players if they didn’t go strong. If there is any doubt on any player, or question marks over their fitness, they won’t be risked, I’d imagine. In Spain, the Europa League is treated with a lot of respect. If things go well it benefits the players and the team.