Martinez not expecting easy ride

PA Sport
Juan Ignacio Martínez believes it will be a tight game when his side take on Motherwell
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Juan Ignacio Martínez believes it will be a tight game when his side take on Motherwell

Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martínez will ignore the Spanish media who have predicted an easy game against Motherwell in the first-leg of their Europa League play-off at Fir Park on Thursday night.

After the draw was made Martinez sent his scout, Inaki, to see the Steelmen draw 1-1 with St Johnstone at home in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and he was more impressed with Stuart McCall's men than the media back home.

"Our scout Inaki said the absolute opposite to what all the Spanish media said," Martinez said. "They said it would be an easy game but the scout said the complete opposite, that it will be a very complicated game."

The Valencia-based club will play European football for the first time following their sixth-placed finish in La Liga last season.

Martinez added: "We certainly have been doing well in the Spanish league but tomorrow we go into this game 50-50 and also the fact that Motherwell have the home advantage puts us under pressure.

"They are like us, they are a small club and for them to come this far is a great for them also.

"And they have played in the Champions League qualifiers so we have a lot of respect for them and we realise this is going to be a tough game."

Martinez is looking forward to an historic night for his club.

"This is a really special game," he said. "There have been a lot of important games over the years, like the game against Athletic Bilbao last season which got us into Europe.

"It is a huge game for our fans and we are just hopeful that we get into the group stages."

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