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Hinchas y Jugadores - Córdoba with @CordobaCFinEng (16th May, 2017)

@CordobaCFinEng is the place to get all your Córdoba news in English on Twitter - go ahead and check it out!

How long have you been a fan of Córdoba and what made you support them in the first place?

I have supported Córdoba CF since arriving to live in the city in 2008. In that time the club has been involved in play-offs, a promotion to and relegation from Primera División, mid-table finishes and relegation fights. You never know what to expect with this club.

Given the transfer windows and the squad that was assembled at the start of the season, is Córdoba where you want it to be?

The club’s current situation and league position stems greatly from the decision to sell Florin Andone, Fidel and Xisco in the summer of 2016 and not adequately replace them. The three of them scored 43 of Córdoba’s 62 goals last season, and a lack of suitable replacements has cost the club dear.  Given the fact that the club managed to hold on to some experienced players from the previous year’s play-off squad (Deivid, Rodas, Luso, Cisma and Pedro Ríos in particular) as well as bringing in some players with ample experience (Juli and Alfaro) and some exciting young prospects (Guille Donoso and Borja Domínguez), I felt we would have a nice balance and be able to expect at least a mid-table finish. Unfortunately, a slump in form from October onwards meant that the team slipped down the table and has been hovering around the relegation zone ever since.

Of the signings made this season, which one worked out the best/had the most impact and why?

Of the signings made over the summer, Polish goalkeeper Paweł Kieszek has been a revelation. Despite being relatively unknown (signing from Portuguese club Estoril), he has made some amazing saves and has played consistently well after a short settling in period.  The clubs three winter transfer window signings have been a breath of fresh air, and have brought a lot to the team since their arrival. Javi Lara’s dead-ball accuracy and skills on the ball have given the team an extra dimension in midfield, Sergio Aguza has stamped his authority in the center of the park, and left-back Mariano Bíttolo has looked assured both defending and attacking.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Córdoba this season? Any standout players?

Córdoba’s main weakness this season has been a problem of belief. Players’ heads have dropped too easily when things haven’t been going our way, and it is my opinion that there have been times when the thought of salvaging results has been too overwhelming for the squad and management team. Current manager Luis Miguel Carrión’s lack of experience at this level has also been exposed, and his team selection and substitutions have often been questioned by fans.

On the positive side, the team has shown glimpses of being able to beat just about anyone in the league. Standout results include the home win against runaway leaders Levante in September and a hard-fought away victory against play-off chasing Real Oviedo in December. The club also had a great run in the Copa del Rey, and the two legs of the 6-3 aggregate win against Málaga will live long in fans’ memories.

List some things you appreciate and some things you can’t stand about the club management. Rant away :)

The relationship between the club’s board and the fans has been strained to say the very least. Supporters were irate that not a cent was spent on a player despite the club earning big bucks at this level from the sales of Florin Andone and Fidel. Protests against the board both outside and inside the stadium have been apparent in recent months, as well as social media campaigns showing support for the club but lack of trust in the owners.

On the sporting side, the mood among fans has been incredible despite the fact that results on the pitch haven’t been what we expected. Average attendances of around 12,000 have helped the team battle to the last minute, and the vast majority of fans have stuck with their team come rain or shine. The fear of relegation has been with us since November, which has dampened spirits to a certain extent. The few bright moments since then have been celebrated with an attitude of triumph through adversity, and the fans have been keen to show that when the players give it their all on the pitch they will have their unconditional support.

Are there any talented youngsters at the club that you expect to have a big future?

Javi Galán, who was a key player in Córdoba B’s promotion from Tercera to Segunda B Grupo IV last season, was given his chance with the first team squad when Carrión took charge. He has grasped the opportunity with both hands. Nicknamed ‘Rooney’ for his strength and combative style of play, he will hopefully have a great future at the club terrorizing defenders on the left flank.

If you could make one realistic signing for Córdoba this summer who would it be?

The one player I would like Córdoba to sign next season would actually be a player currently in our squad. Javi Lara, a local lad from Montoro, only has a contract until June, and I believe an extension to this is vital. Technically gifted and tactically astute, he has a real footballing brain and is always sure of exactly how to play in a variety of systems and formations.

Finally, predicted finish for Córdoba?

A predicted finishing prediction is very difficult to give due to the whole spectrum at the bottom changing after every match day. In terms of what I hope for, anywhere above the bottom four would be a huge relief. I would sign for fifth from bottom now so as not to be relegated and face the notoriously difficult task of trying to escape from Segunda B.

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