Gallardo's strong self-criticism: why River Plate lost to Mineiro, the three defeats in a row and how the team should improve.
El Muñeco spoke after the 1-0 fall at the Monumental for the first leg of the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals.
River Plate lost to Atlético Mineiro 1-0. It must seek a place in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores next week in Belo Horizonte. The only goal of the match played at the Monumental stadium was scored by Nacho Fernández, a former Millionaire footballer, who was expelled shortly after the end at the request of the VAR for a hard strike Fabrizio Angileri.
If I had to analyze what the game was like, it's that when you're in the Cup quarter-finals with such an example, with the quality of the teams.
You do have to take advantage of the good moments. We played a good game in the first half against an excellent team that plays excellent football. After we had a lot of presence, we generated situations that we could have converted. But in the second half, we blurred; they took more initiative and started it better. We were surprised, they scored the goal, and we did not have many football responses to defeat them. That happens when you can't make a complete game. Against these teams that have players of a lot of hierarchy today, we pay it", It was the first analysis that Marcelo Gallardo gave at the press conference.
The Doll was very self-critical because of the two faces that the team showed, but above all, because of the lack of efficiency in the first half. We didn't know how to handle it, and they started the process better. Their position was different. They saw they could generate situations for us, and that made them feel confident. However, the goal came quickly and confused us. We had no response afterward, and it was difficult for us to take the reins of the game. There was a lack of freshness to solve better and think better about the game. That also passes through the hierarchy of Mineiro players", added the millionaire coach.
When it comes to finding quick answers that will change the course and allow him to turn history around, Gallardo said: "If we want to have chances, we have to play a perfect game and improve on all lines. It will be tough and challenging, but everything is still open. It will depend on how we prepare this week for the rematch in Brazil. The revenge will have to be played with freshness and ideas. You have to play a perfect game to have chances".
The River Plate strategist was also consulted for the message he would give to the fans in the face of the rematch, especially considering that in past crossings, the team has been able to reverse similar setbacks on Brazilian soil. "More than the fans, I have to get very fully involved in the development of this week for the team, try to clean a little this week, and put it in our heads that we have to be much more prepared for the rematch. We must be much more focused, attentive, and more decisive. These days, I will have to stimulate in the best possible way to play a good game in Brazil. I must take care of that, and it has to keep me focused so that the players have answers and turn the series around. It's a goal; to get there, we will get there, but we have to be more decisive and effective. It can be done, it is not out of our reach, but we have to get it right".
Gallardo also acknowledged that Mineiro "according to previous games, improved a lot." However, he stayed with the first half, where he "could have control" of the game. "We have to sustain it for a longer time and in the possibilities to be effective.
We didn't know how to handle it, and they started the process better. Their position was different.
Still, they will have the responsibility of closing the series, "he said.
To finish, the millionaire coach did not hide his concern about the three consecutive defeats. Still, he also warned that each of them must be put in context.
This three-shot race was unexpected, but you have to combine it and start thinking quickly because so many games are ahead.
We can not fall; we do not have time to stay with our heads down, not to lift our legs. I have to inject a dose and stimulate the squad so that they don't get hit. You have to get out quickly. Soccer is like that, it gives you the chance to go out, and we have games to start doing it".
"But you have to put every game in context and then analyze how we lost. Each one has different nuances, but there is no need to be confused or alarmed when they fall together in a week. We must not forget that we have been doing good things, and we have to hold on to that. So I ask for serenity, that which I have to transmit to the players", he concluded.