Levante’s Coach Juan Ignacio downplays joint leadership of La Liga

Juan Ignacio sees his Levante side spend the international break joint top of the Primera Division, but he is keen that the praise surrounding their unbeaten start does not distract the players from the bigger picture.

Only Sevilla and Barcelona are alongside Levante as unbeaten sides after six rounds of matches, which for Ignacio are remarkably also his first six matches in the Primera Division, having spent the previous 14 years of his coaching career in Spain’s lower divisions.

The achievement is also the first time in Los Granotes’ 102-year history that they are top of League, whilst the 14 points the team find themselves holding joint-leadership with after six rounds of 2011-12 took 14 games to reach last season.

The Coach has been quick to remind supporters that the team’s goal is survival, and the current points haul serves only as a third of the team’s targeted total.

“The team is clear on its League. The fans can enjoy the leadership, but in the dressing room and with the directors, we know it is just a small step.

“It’s nice, but incidental. The streak is very difficult and especially on Sunday against an opponent [Real Betis] that is a very good team. Last year I was heavily beaten by this team [a 5-0 defeat in Segunda Division when in charge of Cartagena].”

Ignacio describe his coaching style as ‘totally self-taught’ and admits to taking inspiration from Johan Cruyff: “There is a before and after Cruyff.”

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