23 de Julio de 2020. 2:31 pm.
Atlas head coach Rafael Puente has it very clear and expects nothing less: he wants a combative team that fights until the death.
As the new season inches closer, Puente has expressed his desire to reiterate his commitment not only to his team, but to the fans, who will see a more aggressive team on the field. And such is the essence of this club and it's motto "Late con Furia" (Let your heart beat with fury).
He addressed that and other topics in a virtual press conference on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the team's first game of the new season against Xolos in Tijuana.
On his impressions of new Xolos coach Pablo Guede:
“Xolos are led by a coach with whom I fully identify, and with his idea of the game. He is a coach that I respect and admire, who has already confirmed his extraordinary ability in his previous management, and it will be an important challenge because he's formed a good team, quite rich in quality. It will be up to the coach to make a team -- one thing is a good squad, and another is a team. It will take time and (it's) a process. I can tell you that the rival will try to be the protagonist from the moment he takes possession of the ball... very similarly to what we will try and do. That, to me, puts plenty of ingredients on the table to make it an attractive game.”
On the parity of the match-up for Atlas' round 1 game vs. Xolos:
“Building a team will take time, it is a practically new roster with many additions and with a new game model. I think we have a slight advantage because, also, according to what we could investigate, they have no history of preseason games. We were very punctual in the reinforcements to our team, but we kept the bulk of the squad from the previous tournament.”
On Atlas' final performance in the Copa por Mexico vs. Tigres:
“Regardless of whether we were able to score two goals against Tigres, I consider it relevant that we were able to control the game and take the ball from a team that normally prevails through it. I think we played a very good game that day, obviously we had some accidents that cost us goals, but in general terms, the team played well."
On the responsibility he feels toward the team and its performance in the 2020 Guadr1anes tournament:
"We are guidinng a team that was formed well where in any area of the field has at least two alternatives, and that makes it very competitive. We must guarantee that the team represents the fans with dignity, with the idea of the game, good execution, the nobility of the resources of all the members of the team... I think we are forced to finish the tournament (in the regular phase) among the top places (to reach ) the final phase."
His message to the fans:
“The fans - and I have always expressed this - not only have the right, but the obligation to demand; also at the right time, in the right way. I understand that there may be discomfort. For me, the team was on an upward trajectory - the results were not what we expected and we were able to conclude with a victory.
Now a new era is beginning and I think we did a great job in preseason. There is healthy competition within the roster with a necessary depth. I want to reiterate that guaranteeing a result would be irresponsible, but I dare to assure that they will see a team that will be combative, that does not lower its arms and will never stop fighting. It will be resilient and will overcome any adversity that may arise."
Atlas FC Communications