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Malaga stars keep focus on the pitch

Malaga defender Martin Demichelis has said his team are focused on beating Sevilla on Saturday to increase their advantage in the race for a Champions League qualification spot.

The game comes after a week in which there has reportedly been some progress in resolving the Qatari-owned club's troubled financial situation.

Los Boquerones are currently fourth in the Primera Division table, six points ahead of 11th placed Sevilla, and former Argentina international Demichelis said the game was an opportunity to put further daylight between the teams.

"They are a rival in the fight for a Champions League place," he explained. "We must defend our fourth place.

"Three points would increase the cushion of points we have over them, but historically the derby is difficult. They have quality players, but we have the confidence necessary to go to Sevilla and go out to get the three points.

"It is an Andalucian derby that every fan wants to win, and that is our intention."

Malaga officials met UEFA staff in Nyon this week to discuss the unfreezing of the first €10.7 million of Champions League prize money, earned by reaching the group stages.

Reports in the Costa del Sol press have claimed the money could be used to pay wages owed to players, as well as to improve the contract of reported Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham target Isco.

Former River Plate and Bayern Munich centre-half Demichelis said he was confident that the club's financial problems would eventually be sorted out, and the players were concentrating on matters on the pitch.

"I am not the one to speak about these kind of things," he said. "We know we are playing on Saturday, and non-sporting matters do not come into that.

"Away from the things which come out in the papers, or what has been talked about for a long time now, inside the dressing-room we have always believed, always had confidence, and we accept what we are told.

"The other things are exterior and will be resolved."


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