Manchester Futsal play host to Reading Futsal in the final game before the Futsal Super League takes its winter break.
Both sides come into the game in similar form – with Manchester Futsal losing their previous game 6-2 to Oxford and Reading losing by the same score line to Loughbourgh.
Prior to the game Head Coach Sergi Saldanya spoke to us to give his thoughts on the first half of the season and the upcoming game.
Sergi reflected on the previous defeat away to Oxford City – where his side went into half time five goals down. “Firstly, we didn't arrive on time and then we had to do the warmup, which we didn’t have enough time for and we didn't have time to speak about the game neither. As I told players, the main mistake was how I set up for the game in a narrow but long court (something we are not used to). When I realised that we should change our systems, both defensive and offensive, we were already losing 5 - 0. In that case, the players must be calm because we lost because of many factors and I assume my mistakes.”
Three points in this game could see Manchester Futsal climb as high as third, with some help of those around them. Sergi notes that although this is a positive, it’s not something he’s paying any interest to.
“It's nice to see that the club are in the upper part of the division but for me personally it’s not something that I care a lot. As I've said many times, the most important thing is we compete in all games and in the end everyone finishes where they deserve.”
Turning our attention to the away side, Sergi stated there wouldn’t be any alterations made to combat Readings threats. “We haven’t prepared in any special way. We’re playing at home and we want to impose our game onto the opposition. The only variation (to previous home games) is that one it's going be played in Belle Vue instead of the NCC but we played here last season there as well so this shouldn't be a problem.”
Sergi took some time to reflect on a first half of the season, “As I said in last interview, we have room for improvement but what I really wish for in the second part of the season is all players are more involved in trainings, with more commitment. You have to think that, when we train only twice per week, if one player miss one training session, he miss half of the preparation for next game and it is happening too much.”
Sergi added, “If you train only once per week or even don't train, the level of the team and how we prepare for the next match it's very different, more difficult.”
It seemed a similar story in this weeks preparations for the game, “Over the last few weeks we are having too many casualties in trainings. People are working, injured, or have some discomfort and that doesn’t allow us to train in best conditions. It's a shame but it's the reality. This sport isn't professional yet and people have to work and sometimes many players have problems to come because of their job or because their injures etc.”
Finally, Sergi gave us a update on squad selection for the big game, “Danny got injured in our last training session and it's a shame because we only just got him back after a week with some physical problems and at the last moment he twisted his ankle. Like the last game, we are going to have development players helping us because we have some players that are already on Christmas holidays.”
Get down and back the boys for this huge game of futsal. Prices and details are pictured below. Tickets will be avaliable at Belle Vue - or you can purchase your tickets online HERE.