“They ( Persebaya ) has a characteristic game from two years ago which was held by coach Aji Santoso. Quick play, short balls, which we have to anticipate. We hope to break the connection between the players,” said Javier Roca.
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The Chilean coach is now focusing on building the strength of his team. In the game he instructs players to hold the ball longer and start fast attacks.
“We focus on our game. We understand that if a team is usually comfortable with ball possession, if we take the ball and we have ball possession they are uncomfortable,” he said.
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Roca also admitted that he had prepared the physical strength of his players during the break in the League 1 competition to face Persebaya. Even during the competition break, he had time to leave the team’s training for three days in order to recover the physical and mental conditions of his players.
However, during several days of training, the physical condition of the players has not been fully fit to 100 percent immediately. But he was determined ahead of the match against Arema FC that it could be achieved.
“What we are now doing is how they can get back fit, and can start (restore their physical condition), not from 30 percent and above, if 100 percent is not possible. At least for this match (against Persebaya). And the rest before the break before the date December 12, we will prepare training materials that can be fresher in the game,” explained the 45-year-old coach.
Arema FC has just won its first victory after poor results in the previous three matches without even winning. Arema FC is now stumbling in 9th position in the standings with 14 points from 10 matches.
Meanwhile, his potential opponent, Persebaya Surabaya, is even worse. The squad made by Aji Santoso has lost in a row in the last three matches. Persebaya is at the bottom of the standings by collecting 10 points, from three wins, one draw and six defeats.