Maresca warns Sevilla to watch their backs
MADRID, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Sevilla need to worry more about avoiding relegation than pushing for honours at present, Italian midfielder Enzo Maresca has said.
The UEFA and King's Cup holders visit Osasuna for their rearranged Primera Liga match on Wednesday, having lost four of their last five league outings to slip down to 14th in the standings.
Their surprise 1-0 defeat away to promoted Almeria on Saturday left them two points above the bottom three.
'A short while ago when we finished a game we asked ourselves how the teams above us had done, now we are more worried about the results of lowly Levante and Real Betis,' Maresca was quoted as saying on www.marca.com on Monday.
'Our priority has to be to get away from the bottom of the table, not pushing for the Champions League, the league or the UEFA Cup. It seems we do well against big clubs but when we play so called 'smaller' clubs we don't start out as we should.'
Sevilla's only league victory in the last five weeks was against leaders Real Madrid, when they were impressive 2-0 winners at home.
In their first Champions League campaign, they have recovered from a shaky start to top Group H after their stylish 3-1 win over Arsenal last week.
Coach Manolo Jimenez has top scorer Luis Fabiano back in contention, but striker Frederic Kanoute and defender Ivica Dragutinovic are doubts. Brazil full back Daniel Alves is suspended.
Osasuna, who are level on points with Sevilla in 15th, have also struggled of late and their 2-1 away win against Deportivo Coruna on Sunday ended a run of three straight defeats.
This match was originally scheduled for the weekend Sept 1-2, but was postponed after Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta collapsed during a game a week earlier, and later died.