Míchel: “We compete without investing in expensive players”
The Pumas manager said that unlike Tigres UANL or Monterrey they are competing this season without investing in expensive players.
Before the seventh week of the Clausura 2020 Pumas UNAM were the only undefeated team left but their winning streak came to an end with a home defeat against Monarcas Morelia. Regardless of suffering the first setback of the season, Pumas have shown they have what it takes to be a contender for the title.
Pumas manager Míchel was interviewed by TUDN and discussed how they have improved in less than six months without making expensive signings like rivals Tigres UANL or Monterrey.
“To make big and important signings you need to have a lot of money. Pumas didn’t have that kind of money but that was not a problem for me because I had time to build a team and that's more important.”
“As you can see any team can be competitive if the manager has the time to build a team and plan the season. For example, the win against Pachuca during the first week was crucial for us to keep working calmly and plan our next game with that confidence.”
Míchel added that before the tournament started he knew things would be different this season: “We planned the pre-season and it was very successful because we had time and all the players arrived on time. We saw a different mentality from the players who stayed with us last tournament and the ones who arrived this year adapted very fast.”
Pumas youth gain Míchel's trust
Pumas have incorporated players from the youth academy to join the first team and fight for a spot in the starting 11. After seven games Marco García, Bryan Mendoza and Jesús Rivas already gained their coache's trust.
“Pumas already had very good young players in their academy when I arrived. I didn’t bring them from another team or country I just saw qualities in them that could help us this season and they have gained my trust,” Michel said.
Michel pleased with Barrera and Alan Mozo
The Pumas manager also lauded the local players that he has in his squad for this season: “Mexican soccer players have very good technique, they are strong but in terms of mentality you have to push them a little bit.”
The two players he singled out were Pablo Barrera and Alan Mozo, who are enjoying a good season so far. “I didn’t expect that a player that is 32 years old would be able to change his style, but he has done it and that speaks volumes about his worth ethic and his capacity as a soccer player.”
Mozo, who is younger than Barrera, also caught Míchel's eye: “I don’t think he is very aware of what is going on and he does things without acknowledging them sometimes. But he wants to improve and with each game he is improving a lot.”