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Sergio Asenjo: "We’ll have to put in a good performance and get the tie on the right track"

The Atletico goalkeeper gave an overview of the currently rojiblanco squad two days before the Europa League match against Rubin Kazan

Tomas Calvo

Sergio Asenjo appeared before the media after training on Tuesday conducted at the Majadahonda Sports City. The keeper from Palencia, who has started in the group stage of the Europa League, spoke about last Sunday's game against Rayo, his personal situation, the next opponent, Rubin Kazan on Thursday and, of course, of the clash on Sunday against Valladolid, a special match for Asenjo, since it was the club where he started his career.

Sergio Asenjo is clear that, after stumbling in Vallecas, there is no choice but to think about the next game against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League. "In football there is nothing better after a loss than to get straight back to winning ways against Rubin at home," he said.

Regarding his fight for a place with Courtois, he said that "it’s what I've been doing all my life. Work, effort and struggle is what I've always offered and I’ll try to always seize the opportunities I have. If this time the coach continues to trusting me in the Europa League, to do a good job and help the team as much as I can. My daily task is to work and try to make things as difficult as possible for the gaffer. We are two very young goalkeepers, we very excited and eager to work."

He commented later that "I am proud of my work. Every day I give everything for this club and that no one can take away me. I owe this club, they have trusted me for a long time and every day I go out of my house with my head held high. No one can take that away me. The work and the daily struggle goes with me, it is my way of being and when I may have opportunities like in the Europa League, it's up to me to take advantage of them."

The fact they have not won away from home for the last few games, does not worry Asenjo. He says that "we have not on top form away from the Calderón in the last few games. But there have been tough matches and teams are already playing a lot better fighting for every point. We all agree that we must give our best and we will".

He noted that "there are a lot of games left and the season is very long. There are times when the squad has not been at its best like against Rayo Vallecano who are very strong at home. We have to learn from this game and go flat out in every game."

As to whether the squad is strong enough to compete in all three competitions, Asenjo commented "the coach is counting on all the squad and everyone is very involved. We all know that there are many opportunities and everyone is very focused. If we had a squad that is too big there would be people who might miss out. As it is we’ve got a nice compact squad where everyone is involved."

Regarding Rubin Kazan, the Atletico goalkeeper said that "we will have to see them on Thursday. The coach will put out the best eleven for this game."

He spoke about Salomon Rondon the Rubin striker who he played with when on loan at Malaga. "We were together there and he’s physically very powerful. Since I wasthere he’s become better in front of goal. I think that was a facet in which perhaps he had to improve and he's doing that. He is a very good striker and we will have to be very careful with him."

And on Sunday there will be a special match for Sergio Asenjo, a former Valladolid player. "The truth is that whenever I can I follow the Valladolid matches, it’s the place where I grew up. They’ve got an impressive style of play considering they are a newly promoted team. They play nice football, colourful and under Djukic they have an identity rather peculiar for a team like them. It will be a tough game on Sunday at home because they are a good side. From now on, all the teams that we come up against away from the Calderón will be complicated," he concluded.