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Sep 20, 2012

Piti: Rayo staying faithful to style

Rayo Vallecano midfielder Piti says his team will stick to their fearless attacking style this Sunday, even with giant city neighbours Real Madrid the visitors at Vallecas.

The dangers of Rayo's positive tactics were demonstrated last time out at Atletico Madrid as they fell 4-0 behind after less than an hour, but its positive strengths were showcased by a roaring comeback which included three goals in seven minutes and left Atletico hanging on at the final whistle.

Piti, 31, said Rayo - who currently sit sixth in the Primera Division table with seven points from four games - would be faithful to the attacking philosophy which has served them well so far.

"We have been working one way for the whole pre-season and just because Real Madrid are coming we are not going to change," Piti said. "It is a good moment to continue with our philosophy and to battle against whoever comes."

Indeed, new Rayo coach Paco Jemez is building upon the fan-friendly tactics put in place by predecessor Jose Ramon Sandoval last season.

"Last year we also had a very attacking style which was nice to watch," he said. "Paco's idea is similar, we play offensively, looking to have the ball and that is appreciated. Sometimes this is very risky, but if you can be effective and win games then much better."

Madrid's start to the league season has been less pleasing to their supporters, with Jose Mourinho's team yet to pick up a point away from home. This has lead some inside and outside the Madrid camp to suggest that their pre-season preparations had been flawed. Piti said he shared this view and hoped his side could take advantage on Sunday.

"I think they have yet to get going," he said. "As Sergio Ramos said they did not have a hard and demanding pre-season and they are paying for that now. This is not the Real Madrid we will see in a few weeks when they are more prepared and have got into their stride."

By contrast, Rayo have begun the season unhampered by the off-field issues which have plagued the club in recent seasons, Piti said.

"It is very different from last year," he said. "This year before training the talk is not of problems, but of football. People's heads are focused where they should be."

The visit of Madrid is one of only two games (the other being Barcelona) where Rayo season ticket holders must pay an extra fee to secure their ticket. Piti said he did not agree with this club policy.

"Given the economic crisis it takes a lot for many people to buy their season ticket," he said. "To then ask them to pay more for two extra games; I believe that is not right. I hope people are able pay for their tickets, but it is very difficult to ask because for me they have already paid enough."

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