Mindful of Success
The possibility of Champions League football is no longer in the back of Gregorio Manzano’s mind. With Mallorca sitting proudly in fourth spot in La Liga European qualification is tantalisingly within reach.
Coach of the year contender Manzano, who Sevilla have denied courting, told Revista de La Liga (Sky Sports) it has not been an easy road but with the right set-up and mental approach the Islanders have been able to exceed all expectations.
“We’ve had to sell more than 50 percent of first team players from one season to the next yet we’ve got the best out of a bad situation and while recycling the team, the team has continued performing well,” said Manzano.
“I think that’s because the set up around the players, the dressing room so to speak, is a very professional structure while at the same time being very much like a family. The players are very well looked after, well cared for, that may not seem like it wins you points but maybe it does. I think these are elements Mallorca must try to preserve in the future if it wants to maintain something from what is happening now.”
Mallorca dropped two crucial points on their last outing, drawing 1-1 with lowly Malaga, but have the chance to get back on track against Athletic Club in early May. Whoever their opponents though, Manzano is convinced that psychology and mental strength is the key to building a winning mentality.
“In elite football the differences are so small that the difference between one team or one player getting the better of another comes down to mental ability. I think that physically teams today are pretty much at the same level. On a tactical level, every team and every coach has its system and every system has its own strengths and weaknesses. When we are talking about a tactical level, then just about every elite player within a certain percentage range knows how to control a football. Where does the difference lie? It’s in the mental aspect. The difference is some teams are better prepared mentally to achieve their goal, to achieve an objective.
“It’s this tiny percentage that separates a team that is capable of beating another because of their internal motivation, their determination, their ability to focus, to eliminate those anxieties that hold players back. In situations that would take too long to get into, it’s on this psychological aspect that I’ve focused some of the work that I do with my players.
“Can it make players better? In certain cases it has. Danny Guiza is an example of one player who has benefitted. I just hope that this year we can count on European qualification and if we can it will be an outstanding job done by everybody.”
from Sky Sports