After a season spent in Spanish football's second tier, Villarreal CF have made a successful return to the top-flight under coach Marcelino García Toral. Currently fourth, the club recently rewarded coach Marcelino with a two-year contract extension, with the 48-year-old telling UEFA.com he was excited by the Yellow Submarine's bright future.
UEFA.com: What does your new deal at Villarreal mean to you?
Marcelino: On a professional level, it represents immense satisfaction. My technical staff and I wanted to continue here. Villarreal are a club that make you feel very comfortable as they offer the ideal conditions within which to work. The relationship between the players and the boardroom staff is also very good.
UEFA.com: During the press conference to announce you would be staying on until 2016, you said that Villarreal were a 'winning team'. What were you basing that on?
Marcelino: I was basing it on the club's structure and the philosophy here. You can feel this is an institution where the principles are progress and improvement. In the modern-day game, winning is hard, especially when you see three very big teams in our league. That said, I think that fighting to be among the top positions and being a well-regarded side in the Liga are achievable goals.
UEFA.com: How important is the youth set-up at Villarreal?
Marcelino: Very important. The club has made a considerable investment in youth development and there is a lot of confidence in it. If a team has lot of players who have come up through the youth ranks, a special positive spirit pervades within the side. I myself came through just such a system at Real Sporting de Gijón.
UEFA.com: You took over at Villarreal with the club in the second division. What led you to that choice?
Marcelino: We agreed to go to Villarreal because we were going to a club that had played in the UEFA Champions League and because it is one of the best sides in the country. We knew if we could achieve promotion, the future prospects could be attractive and encouraging.
UEFA.com: Do Villarreal follow the Marcelino philosophy in terms of how they play?
Marcelino: I like dynamic football; quick and collective, where there is attack and counterattack, and when we have the ball I like us to take it towards the opposition goal. Defensively, I like my teams to be well organised with every player actively looking to win the ball back. At Villarreal, we want to be effective in both [attacking and defensive] aspects.
UEFA.com: Can Villarreal return to European competition next season?
Marcelino: Right now, we are up in fourth place on merit but there are still two-thirds of the championship remaining. There are strong teams who have not started well but who will improve to finish higher up the table. Finishing in the top seven places in the Liga is not easy. We will look to take things on a game-by-game basis, treating each one as if it were a final. When there are seven or eight games to go, we'll see where we can aspire to finish.
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