Ibiza has claimed 71 percent of its total points tally thanks to its home fixtures so far this season. Tomorrow, as of 12 noon, the sky blues will look to secure its sixth victory at Can Misses, its home ground where it has become the norm to see more than two thousand spectators fill the stands for home matches. The team of Pablo Alfaro will face Unión Deportiva Melilla with the intent of getting back to winning form after last week’s result in Vigo. “We have to turn that experience into something positive. We’re conscious of the fact that other teams recognise us as a good side… and I believe we are if we are all at 100%”, explained Alfaro in yesterday’s press conference. The islanders’ coach will have to do without Quintanilla (injured during the visit to Celta B) for the clash with the visitors from Melilla, but on the upside, Alfaro can once again count on the following two players: Gonzalo de la Fuente and Diego Mendoza.
Tomorrow’s opponents Melilla, “an historic team of the Segunda B competition” is known to pursue “ambitious projects but has had a relatively poor start to the season”, analysed Alfaro. Toni Arranz, one of Ibiza’s midfield wizards, views the side from North Africa as a team that is “pragmatic and unlikely to concede too much”. Alfaro followed suit: “Melilla is likely to adopt a practical approach. They want to get a good result in order to add to their points tally. We’re expecting an uncomfortable match, because they will do everything to get out of the situation they are in”.
Ranked eleventh, with 17 points and one match in hand, Melilla’s visit to Can Misses will be the third game in charge of new coach Manolo Herrero. The coach has returned to the autonomous city –having trained the same two years ago– with the intention of bringing a fresh approach to a side that has had an average start to the season. Under Herrero’s guidance, Melilla drew away to Ferrol and secured a victory on home soil against Sporting B. The coach knows that it is high time for his team to find its form if it is to achieve its lofty goals for the season. Improving its record away from home is one of Melilla’s main objectives: in seven matches on the road a mere six points were recorded. For that reason, Herrero yesterday stated that the match in Ibiza has a heightenend level of importance: “Based on what we are able to achieve in December, we will know what we will be playing for in the second half of the season. If we’re not able to get the right results, it will be very difficult to produce the necessary performances in the new year. We have to be aware of the importance of Sunday’s game”.
Melilla travels to Ibiza without Pepe Romero who faces a suspension, and Fran Bueno who is injured. It’s the third time for both teams to face each other. Ibiza won the last two encounters (2-1 at home and 0-1 in Melilla). Maintaining its record against one of this category’s historic clubs is an added level of motivation for Ibiza prior to tomorrow’s clash at Municipal de Can Misses.