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Monday, 05 July 2010 13:51

Mallorca captain Nunes: “It will be difficult to repeat last season”

Defender still happy in Spain

Spanish club Mallorca were the surprise story of last season’s La Liga campaign, narrowly missing out on Champions League football with a 5th place finish. However, the new season must bring with it a wide perspective when it comes to setting aims, according to captain Jose Nunes.

The Islanders came to within minutes of securing a place in the Champions League qualifiers, only to be denied by a last-gasp goal by Sevilla on the final day, with the Andalucians getting the result they needed to edge Mallorca in the race for fourth place.

Since then, Mallorca has undergone several major changes, leaving many unsure about what to expect under new coach Michael Laudrup. Former Braga defender Nunes, who has played for Mallorca since 2006, says the team must remain grounded in the goals they set themselves for 2010/11.

“The team always plays to ensure survival, this is the big target,“ he said. “But it will be very difficult to repeat what he did last season. There have been a lot of changes made at the club, with the coach being changed, players leaving and the club was sold, so we’ll have to start from scratch and work to do a good job. Also, the other clubs will strengthen a lot.

“Laudrup is a good coach. I remember he had a good season with Getafe. He was also recently in Russia and so I hope he brings more experience to the team so we can continue to grow.

“We now have a game to get into the Europa League and this is the first objective. On a personal level, I hope to do the same as I did last season. I was a regular and have not had injuries, so hopefully I’ll play in the same way.”

Throughout his time in Spain, Nunes has regularly been linked moves to other clubs, both in England and back home in Portugal. Although refusing to rule out a move in the future, the 33-year-old says he is happy to remain at the ONO Estadio.

“There were approaches from Portugal. We spoke a few times but it never happened. I never received a concrete proposal. I will finish my career wherever I feel best, be it Spain or Portugal. Right now, I feel good in Spain. If something comes up, I will talk about it, but right now I’m focused on having a good season at Mallorca.”

By Sean Gillen

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