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Koke: “I’m very happy with the confidence the coach is showing in me”

“De Gea and Domínguez are an example for all of the reserve squad players”

Jorge Resurrección, Koke, played in his second consecutive match with the ‘rojiblanco’ first squad this season. He debuted against Racing in La Liga and Quique Sánchez Flores decided, after praising his play in the lead-up to the game, to send him on for Paulo Assunçao after the Brazilian was taken off the pitch on a stretcher.

The ‘rojiblanco’ squad player acknowledged that the match against Espanyol was “tough because they came out very strong. The good thing for us is that we got an early goal in the first half, and that calmed the team down and allowed us to develop our play. We did a good job.”

Atlético de Madrid could have won the match as they created clear chances through Kun Agüero and Reyes. “We had the match under control when we were up 0-1. We knew that it was difficult because Espanyol is tough to beat at home and we had to score a goal and not concede, and that’s what happened until the last minute of the game. Keeping a clean sheet was important and that last-minute goal was a pity because we wanted to win at Cornellà as well,” he assured.

Koke is happy about getting minutes in his second match in-a-row: “I’m extremely happy that the gaffer has confidence in me, although it hurts to go on because of in an injury to a teammate (Paulo Assunçao).”

Quique Sánchez Flores praised Koke’s play before the trip to Barcelona and highlighted his hard work. Nevertheless, the home-grown player is staying humble and asserted that “I read it but I have to keep working because we still haven’t accomplished anything. I’ve gone through it calmly and waited for my moment, and when I get another one I’ll have to grab it.”

The manager of the first squad is happy with the performances of the players he’s been calling up from the junior academy and on Wednesday said that he wouldn’t hesitate to continue to bring up players from the reserve squad. “The coach clearly is counting on us and that’s always important. When he sends us on, we have to show him that we’re ready to help the first squad and return the confidence that he’s giving us,” he highlighted.

Concerning the injury to Assunçao, that could mean that Koke gets called up again to take on Hércules on Monday. To this respect the central midfielder said that “that might happen but I’m not happy about an injury to a teammate. I have to keep working and that’s all there is to it.”

Koke stated that there are players in the reserve squad who can make the leap to the first team. “Little-by-little the first squad can call up players, as happened with De Gea and Domínguez. The manager is placing confidence in them and they’re not letting him down. They’re great examples for us. For example, two years ago they both played with me in the reserves and now they’re undisputed starters in the first team,” he concluded by saying.