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Tuesday, 21 April 2009 18:14

We’re not ready for the Champions League - Deportivo’s Ze Castro

Portuguese hoping to be fit for Almeria visit

ze castroDeportivo La Coruna defender Ze Castro admits his side may not be ready for Champions League football, as the Galician club prepare to fight for a place in Europe for next season.

The former Academica defender is hoping to be fit to take part in Wednesday’s home clash with Almeria, having missed training on Monday with an ankle injury sustained during Saturday’s 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao.

“Now it is a little sore and we’ll have to see what happens over the coming hours,” he said. “Today it’s better than it was yesterday and I think I could be ready for Wednesday. There were moments (during the Bilbao match) where I had to speak with the coach because he was asking things I could not do and I preferred to keep my energy for the key moments. We compromised.”

Depor currently sit in 8th place in La Liga, but will need a top six finish in order to secure qualification for the Uefa Cup. Malaga currently occupy the 6th position, three points ahead of Ze Castro’s men, while six points separates them from 4th place and a Champions League qualifiers berth.

“It would be very good to get into Europe,” Ze Castro admitted. “Next year the Uefa Cup has a very nice format. The Champions League is very tough. We are not a Champions League team just now, although if we were able to listen to its music, all the better.

On his team’s next two matches - at home to Almeria tomorrow and away at Malaga this Saturday, the 25-year-old added: “They are two very important matches and, if we win both, we will be in very good shape.

“Almeria are a very good team. In the attacking end of the field, they have very strong players and we’ll need to take care of them. There’s (Alvaro) Negro, but not just him, also Uche. It is important that we stay concentrated like we did in Bilbao where, although we didn’t have the game of our lives, we did what we had to do.”

By Sean Gillen

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