Djukic ready for Betis clash

BY foxsports • September 16, 2012

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 matches.

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 road.

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 club.

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.