Copa del Rey: Getafe bullish ahead of final
MADRID, April 15 (Copa del Rey) - Getafe president Angel Torres is convinced it will be his side celebrating at the end of the Copa del Rey final against Valencia, and believes last week`s heartbreaking UEFA Cup exit will help them achieve it.
Although they have never won a major trophy in their history and are facing one of Spanish footballs biggest names, Getafe are slight favourites heading into Wednesday`s final at the Vicente Calderon due to their impressive cup exploits over the last few years.
Last season, the small club from the outskirts of Madrid reached the Copa del Rey final before losing to Sevilla, while this year they enjoyed a remarkable first foray into Europe after reaching the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
That run came to an end in agonising circumstances last week when they conceded twice in the last five minutes of extra-time against Bayern Munich to go out on the away goals rule.
Far from crushing confidence, though, Getafe chief Torres believes that result will help inspire the players to a match-winning performance on Wednesday night.
'We have gained more morale for the final. We have more desire and confidence than Valencia,' said Torres.
'Today we are calm. Tomorrow will be worse because it is a very long day, but the feeling that I have is that we are going to win. We have the experience of last year, and the team is giving me hope.
'We are playing the better but it is going to be a difficult game.'
Getafe coach Michael Laudrup has attempted to ease the pressure on his side going into the final by insisting: 'It can never be a failure to lose a final. Although, reaching a final is very nice and one always wants to win.
'This club does not have aims to win finals, their objective is to avoid relegation and get as far as they can in the UEFA Cup and Copa del Rey. Other teams have the aim of winning a title and are different. That is not the case for Getafe.'
While Getafe will be able to reflect on one of their best-ever seasons no matter what happens on Wednesday night, the same certainly cannot be said for opponents Valencia.
Dismal on-field results, changes in coach and president, exiled players, an early exit from Europe and a possible relegation dogfight means few at Valencia will regard the 2007/08 season as one to remember.
Recently-installed Valencia president Agustin Morera said: 'Winning the cup will not mend our season.
'We are obliged to win the cup to bring some joy to our fans after a disastrous season.'
There has also been speculation about the future of coach Ronald Koeman, with suggestions that he will be fired if Valencia fail to win the Copa del Rey.
The former PSV Eindhoven boss has won just 10 of his 32 competitive matches since taking charge - with six of those victories coming in the cup - and when asked about the Dutchman's position, Morera was giving little away.
'He has signed a contract and Valencia respect contracts. Now he is the coach and I will only talk about the cup game, which we need to win and that is the responsibility of the coach, the players and myself,' he said.
'I don't like how the team play but I am not the one who goes out onto the pitch and it is not my decision.'
However, Morera did reveal that changes were in the air at the Mestalla, irrespective of Wednesday's result.
'We have been working on things for some time. There are decisions that have already been taken and they will not be changed whatever happens in the Copa del Rey,' he added.
'Valencia is a business and you cannot stop working or thinking about the future.'