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Ramos' Sevilla stick to their guns

Despite losing the last three league matches, Juande Ramos will not abandon his principles as Sevilla FC prepare for the tricky Group H visit of SK Slavia Praha.

Sevilla coach Juande Ramos
Sevilla coach Juande Ramos ©Getty Images

The many admirers of Sevilla FC coach Juande Ramos will not be disappointed by his refreshing approach to the Matchday 2 visit of SK Slavia Praha. Although Sevilla's campaign has been derailed slightly by three successive Primera División losses and a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal FC on their UEFA Champions League debut, the coach refuses to buckle and order his team to play pragmatic football.

Man of principle
"I hear people say at times like this that we should change our game, but I won't swap good football for anything," Ramos said. "If people think we should abandon our principles then I'm against it. I've learned that you can play well and lose, and you can also play badly and win. Generally, the way to win consistently is to play attractive, attacking soccer. Manage that and the victories will usually come."

Talented newcomers
If Ramos and company are UEFA Champions League group stage debutants, his attitude typifies what has made the competition great. Slavia may also be newcomers yet they beat FC Steaua Bucureşti 2-1 a fortnight ago and come to Spain on the back of a 7-1 domestic win over FC Zlín. The temptation could be for Sevilla to abandon flair and seek a result at all costs. Ramos disagrees. "Three points are vital for us, I know that," he said. "But there is nothing wrong with our style – our only flaw recently has been failing to score from the mountain of chances we create."

Attacking options
With this in mind, Frédéric Kanouté should be restored up front having been rested in Saturday's 2-0 reverse at Real Zaragoza. Ramos has used seven different attacking partnerships this season and an eighth may yet emerge if the Mali international is paired with Arouna Koné. "We can work on defensive situations but the art of a striker is unpredictable and creative," Ramos explained. "I fully accept that it's inherent in football that you aspire to win but you must also learn how to lose. The gap between the two, for us, is in taking our chances."

Visitors' caution
Slavia coach Karel Jarolím, perhaps understandably, fears a potential Sevilla backlash. "It would be naïve of us to think that our domestic form translates to us winning here in Spain and super naïve not to expect them to react," he said. "I've seen all their recent games and how many chances they've missed." Slavia certainly know the way to goal. Friday's demolition of Zlín kept them atop the 1. Liga, despite the team taking to the field without Vladimír Šmicer (thigh), František Dříždal (sprained ankle), Martin Latka (thigh) and Erich Brabec (knee).

'Due a big win'
Jarolím concluded: "My players must restrict the space Sevilla get and when we counter, we must score from our opportunities. I believe it would have been better for us if Sevilla had not been losing because I know that they are due a big win. Our test is to ensure that it is not against Slavia."