Tigres needs to be level-headed and humble.- ‘Tuca’ Ferretti

ZUAZUA | Monday, August 8, 2016.-  The fact that Tigres remains unbeaten in the 2016 Summer Tournament (Apertura), has not conceded a single goal in four League matches and has achieved two victories does not mean that the team can relax, thinking that they have reached their ideal, target level, assured Ricardo Ferretti, the felines’ manager.

“There’s a saying that Octavio Rivas, God rest his soul, taught me: ‘We’re either a wonder of the world or the poop of a bandit’s horse’. There’s no in-between and the worst thing would be for us to believe this. That’s why, two weeks ago, before these two triumphs, I said, ‘boys, things happen, we haven’t won, we’ve drawn twice and we have to keep trying and working, and criticism for a lack of goals is bound to happen’.

“But now we’ve scored four goals in four matches, a one-goal average, and I don’t think that’s much to be particularly proud of, but I do agree that not conceding any goals is worth mentioning, but it’s not an achievement of four, five, or six, or nine or ten (players), but of eleven. We have to be level-headed, we have to remain humble. We’ve had an acceptable start in these four matches and there will always be comments about the last one or two results. The first two generated rather unpleasant comments, the next two fantastic comments which aren’t that pleasant either. We’re gradually gaining balance, but there’s still a great deal of work to do to reach our goal.”

An invincible defense: is that your strength?

“Owing to certain circumstances in the last two tournaments, we didn’t have the crop of points we have right now, things happened and, of course, now we have a possibility, not for a perfect qualification, because that would be 12 points, but we have achieved, compared to the past, far more than in other tournaments. There’s still a great deal of room for improvement in some areas and the need to consolidate the things we’re doing right, but we must never be overconfident.”

There have been no changes to the style of play.

“We’ve played two matches at home, where the opponents try to take control and other things happen, but I can’t see much difference between what we were trying to do, and did, before and what we’re doing right now. Sometimes, the circumstances lead us to try certain things and I think the players, who are gaining confidence, through the results, try to do them. The current training sessions are just the same as those from six years ago. The players change and, of course, when the players change certain things change too.”

How he stops the squad from getting too relaxed

“When they come out onto the pitch, no one’s doing me any favors, they’re out to do the very best they can, to work and achieve what you’ve mentioned; all the work and everything you’ve mentioned is to earn points, hopefully three by three, but sometimes it’s just not possible (…). I have a group of professional footballers and they’re not going to think they’re inferior or superior to anyone else. It anyone begins to feel inferior, I’ll cheer him up and if anyone feels superior, I’ll calm him down. We can’t look down on anyone, otherwise one day you’ll have to look up. Human beings have to look each other in the eye, whoever it might be, and be as humble and as capable as the person in front of you, never be intimidated and never be arrogant.”

The new players’ work so far.

“Their (new players) adaptation right now is acceptable, except perhaps for Beto (Acosta), who had already played for us, we’d worked for many years and I think he’s fully aware of what’s needed to be in this team. And the others, I think that at times they’re doing well and at others, not so much. There’s a long way to go before the adaptation you mention will be complete. I think that with the others, even with the teammates they have and the capacity they have, I think they should and can improve a lot.”

The injured players, such as Damm, Damián and Rivas.

“It’s highly likely (that they’ll play). They’ve practically recovered from their injuries. They completed their physical exercises today with the whole group, played a bit of football and I think they still haven’t quite reached the level they had before their injuries. It’s normal for players to maintain their level and then suddenly lose it after an injury and they need time to get it back. I hope that this week and the ones to come, if there aren’t any setbacks, they can soon get back to the level they themselves want.”