Álvaro Fernández (Arnedo, 1998) is the guardian of the Huesca goal, a position he alternates with the veteran Andrés Fernández. Formed in the Osasuna quarry, he was previously in the sights of the Real, with which he played numerous tournaments as a child. Now the Txuri Urdin club has him on its radar again, although he prefers to think first in the short term and save the category with Huesca, for which adding the three points today against Imanol Alguacil’s team seems fundamental.
A whole final against Real awaits them, although I have the impression that they have been playing finals for some time, haven’t they?
Yes, exactly. The truth is that it is a game that we arrived at with great need because we have distanced ourselves from the salvation zone and this game against Real Sociedad is going to be momentous. We know that if we win we will re-enlist and that if we lose, we will still have life, but less. So it is a crucial game against a great team that has a clear objective which is to enter Europe and that also has a very good dynamic. Let’s see what happens. We have already risen from the blow that lost against Getafe and we keep the illusion intact of being able to beat Real Sociedad.
Do you have a feeling of anxiety, nervousness on the staff?
Not because we are a newly promoted team and we knew that we would be fighting to save ourselves until the last day. We reached the last five days three points from salvation. It is true that we have even been out of relegation, but surely anyone would have wanted to arrive here with the possibility of remaining in the First Division. There is no anxiety at all, although when you suffer a hard defeat like last weekend you have some frustration or disappointment, but in the end that passes, we have already cleared our heads and I do not see the anxious dressing room. What’s more, I see him excited to be close to the goal of salvation, which, if achieved, would be historic for the club.
What has changed with Pacheta so that the results have improved?
I think that, above all, we once again put into our bodies that illusion of achieving the goal that perhaps had been deteriorated a bit due to not being able to win during the first round. When he came with that renewal of energy and that optimism, all the players took a step forward and that was the key to improvement. It is also true that with Pacheta we have used another system that is better for the team, especially with the lane issue, and that has also been reflected in the game. Those two aspects have been fundamental to have been even out of the descent and that now we are struggling to get out of it.
Can we wait for a Huesca who will come out to discuss possession of the Real?
Yes, surely we will find a Huesca that pushes very hard because we know that Real treats the ball very well, is organized and evolves with the ball and we do not want them to attack us that way because they are very effective. We will have to take the ball from them and, when we take it from them, keep it and not raffle it because otherwise we will suffer more. I expect a Huesca with the ball, very pressing and with a lot of pride and personality.
What do you think of the Real?
Well, it seems to me that he is having a spectacular season. Not only for winning the Cup, but for the regularity he is having. He had a stage where it was difficult for him to win, but it makes sense when you’re in three competitions. Now that he only has the League and the goal of getting into Europe, I see it as the favorite to get that fifth place. What both the coach and the sports management have achieved with their commitment to young people is remarkable because when they consolidate and manage to take the team to the top, it will give them a future record and enormous prestige for the coming seasons.
Players like Merino and Carlos Fernández will be out. Silva is doubt …
Obviously, the less effective they have, the better for us. It is always said that they like to play against the best but, with so much at stake, the less effective they have, the better because they will have less chance of hurting us.
Are you worried about a particular player?
Well, we know Isak is on a roll. Oyarzabal is having a very good season. But I would not look at any one in particular because if you look at any player you see that they are real animals, that they compete very well, that they have a spectacular handling of the ball. That is why they are in Real that, if they are fifth and struggling to finish in that position, it is because they have a spectacular squad in all positions.
Can the match of the first round serve as a reference?
It can help us in terms of how they are going to attack us because in that game they were one hundred percent. They took the ball from us, they had a lot of possession, they did us a lot of damage and we can look at that. But in terms of our game, not because it was another system, another style of play, and we approached this game in a different way.
His performances are not going unnoticed. There are clubs that follow him. Do you notice that interest?
Yes, I would be fooling you if I said no. I know that I am too young to play the games that I am playing in the First Division and also with the national team and it is logical that that arouses the interest of other clubs, but I cannot focus on that because otherwise I would be losing energy in the goal that I have. which is salvation. I can’t think about the future when I’m playing so hard. I prefer to wait for the summer and now focus on the two objectives I have: to achieve salvation with Huesca and to achieve the sixth European title with Spain.
La Real is precisely one of those interested teams …
I know nothing. I have a contract with Huesca and my only objective is to save us. In summer we will see what happens.
I understand that he played tournaments with Real when he was a child.
Yes, between the ages of 7 and 14 I went to many tournaments with La Real. It is a club that I know and for which I have a special affection.
He finally signed for Osasuna as a youth. Real never tried?
No. They only called me for those tournaments until I was signed by Osasuna when I was 15 years old.