Djukic ready for Betis clash

Real Valladolid coach Miroslav Djukic believes his side are in

good shape heading into Monday’s clash with Real Betis.

Valladolid enjoyed a superb start to the season following

promotion as they recorded victories over Real Zaragoza and Levante

in their opening two matches without conceding a goal.

They were brought back down to earth in their third match as

they were beaten 2-0 by Athletic Bilbao but they have had plenty of

time to regroup after that loss thanks to the international


Djukic said: “The break has been good for us because we’ve been

able to rest, to work, and I think that we are totally ready to

face this next phase of the season.”

He added: “We want to continue learning and improving day by

day. We have to make ourselves strong at home, where we have to get

as many points as possible.”

Next up for Valladolid is the visit of a Betis side who have

picked up three points from their two games to date, courtesy of

their hugely impressive 5-3 victory at Athletic Bilbao on the

opening weekend.

Betis lost their subsequent match 2-1 at home to Rayo Vallecano,

and Djukic believes the Seville-based outfit are better on the


He said: “They play better away than at home, because they are

very comfortable on the counter-attack. They press well, they are

aggressive and come out very fast…we need to be careful.”

Betis drew 1-1 in a friendly with Benfica last week in a match

which saw summer signing Nosa Igiebor make his first start for the


Coach Pepe Mel has high hopes for the Nigeria international but

knows it can take time for new players to settle in.

“He’s a player who we need to have patience with, he has the

necessary qualities to help us and I’m sure that he’s going to be

an important player,” he said.