Melendo: ‘I wanted to be like Darder’

Óscar Melendo has started 2021 stomping
and claiming himself as a very important for Vicente Moreno. Chain five games as a starter and consider that if the team maintains this path of recent weeks, on May 30 will have the return ticket. Warn that for achieves the challenge “you have to take care of much more details” and praises the work of Vicente Moreno “because it has changed some players and there is another mentality, we want promotion.”

– Just today in two months, on May 30, the LaLiga Smartbank championship will end. Do you see yourself back to the First Division that day with the ticket in hand?

“That is our goal, to have the ticket to Primera that May 30. I had never been in the Second Division and many colleagues from other teams had told me that it was a very tough category and I have been able to see how difficult it is. Also this year that the teams at the top have a lot of points, I think we are close to beating the record for points that Cádiz had. And that reflects how tough it is. There are many high-level teams and you go to very difficult fields. It’s nice and I think we are having a good year, we are going first and the important thing is to continue with that line. If we continue in this dynamic and with the same work of the whole year, we will be very close to achieving that ticket ”.

– You have five games as a starter, is it your best moment of the season? Has your ego risen a lot after the ‘heels’ of the game against Logroñés and that they equaled players like Guti or Zidane?

“My ego has not risen thanks to my people, my family, my partner … They always keep my feet on the ground. Humility is a value that Espanyol has always worked hard for. The fact of passing through the Sports City and Sant Adrià every day, where I am from, reminds me of where I grew up and that always keeps my feet on the ground ”.

“I am very happy to have chained 5 games as a starter. Hopefully now is not my best moment, but when the League ends or in this final stretch that we have left. It is true that I feel very comfortable and with the confidence of the coach, but I continue to work hard as from the beginning of the season ”.

– What is missing from this Espanyol so that the fans are calm and see clearly that they will finish first or second?

“I think the most important thing is to take care of the details. We have been doing it but you have to take more care of it. There are eleven days left and the smallest detail will add or subtract against you. It is true that in some games we were able to accelerate some more march, or due to the rival’s merit we could not sentence a game and they ended up going back, as in the case of Girona or Rayo. But I think that the line, the work and the path is what we have been showing in the last weeks. Anduva’s game was a ‘click’, there we made a reflection and I think that from there, we are going up ”.

– Is it vital to make 6 of 6 in the two games this week against Fuenlabra and Albacete? It would be a plus to face later the duels against Leganés and Almería, big words …

“For me the key game is Fuenlabrada. I give the same importance to the matches against ‘Fuenla’ and Albacete as the other two against direct rivals. Thursday is very important and we must go out with everything to beat ‘Fuenla’. The home team has to be won because at the RCDE Stadium we have a good run and it should continue like this ”.

He has always said that his idol is David Silva

“He is my idol because of how he does everything, in football he is a reference for me and I pay attention to him a lot to improve. And hopefully to reach the half level that David has shown in his career ”.

– When you started in the Espanyol quarry in 2003, was there a player from the first team in which you looked?

“In the first team I paid attention to Iván de la Peña, for his great vision of the game. But it is also true that when Darder was in his youth stage and I was younger (he is 4 years old), I went with my father to the Sports City and I went to see him and I liked him a lot. And what are the things that now I have coincided with him in the first team. Darder was a player in whom I reflected and wanted to be like him ”.

– In the last eleven of Vicente Moreno, his typical line-up, there are from 5 to 6 very starting homegrown players, among them you. a proud?

“For us it is very nice. Being in the field and looking back, to the side and seeing so many people from the quarry is very nice and confirms how well they have worked and are working in the Espanyol quarry for many years. And behind in the Youth and the subsidiary there are people with a lot of quality and desire who have been pressing. Things are being done very well and hopefully it can continue to be done because that will mean that Espanyol will grow from a very good base, its quarry ”.

– What has changed from Espanyol de Abelardo / Rufete to that of Vicente Moreno? What has the Valencian coach given you this year?

“Vicente Moreno has adapted a lot to our system and to what the player needs. He is doing a great job and there is a good and very exciting project. The mentality has changed. I think last year we took a step back, but now we are taking two steps forward. He is achieving this by creating a very solid base where the quarry is important. It has changed some players and there is another mentality, we want promotion. Many players from last year are still here and the anger that we have for having gone down and that hurt our pride, we want to reverse it however it is, winning all the games that we can. And hopefully on May 30 we are celebrating in style that we return to Primera, which is where Espanyol should never have left ”.

– Is the fans missing a lot on the pitch?

“I miss them a lot. My best moments, the ones you remember the most, have been at the RCDE Stadium with the people, when they cheer you on. For example, when we qualify for Europe, we did that thanks to the fans. They are paramount, at least in this club. Espanyol has many very good things, but the best thing is the fans and of course they miss them a lot. Both when we celebrate a goal or a game won, as when things go wrong and you feel their encouragement. And we have noticed that in the last games at home when they have come to receive us. Noticing the fans is essential for the footballer and hopefully soon we can have them close at home again. And hopefully it will be in First ”.