With the hope of overcoming the series, Atlético Nacional hosts Olimpia from Paraguay this Thursday, which seeks to maintain the two-goal advantage it achieved in Asunción to reach the third phase of the Copa Libertadores, the last before the group stage. The game will be seen on Conmebol’s Facebook page, starting at 7:30 at night.
With a change of coach and several players in the medical department, the panorama at Nacional is very complex. Hernán Darío Herrera, the coach in charge after the departure of Alejandro Restrepo, will have to rethink several tactical and motivational aspects. Alexánder Mejía, Juan David Cabal, Baldomero Perlaza, Yerson Candelo, Jhon Duque and Álvaro Angulo would be ruled out.
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The voice of the captain of Atlético Nacional
Felipe Aguilar, defender and one of the team’s captains, remarked: “These situations happen in football, but regardless of what happens, we have the ambition, the desire and the commitment to go out and win the series against Olimpia. We have all had difficult moments in the race, we must turn the page because football does not wait. We have a very important match this Thursday and we have to be ready to compete”.
“We are big enough to take on the challenges, we are up to our necks in water and that is where we must demonstrate with our work, the attitude to win and that Thursday will serve to take the pressure off us,” added Aguilar.
Despite the attacks in recent days, Felipe believes that the team will be ready to take on this challenge on a continental level.
“I think that the player or players available for Thursday will be in good physical and mental condition. Two work sessions aren’t going to change the game much, but we expect full-backs to be very influential in the game. Hopefully on Thursday we can put in a little more than we need, to advance to the phase”, concluded the defender.
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Hernán Darío Herrera is not afraid of the challenge in Nacional
Herrera, idol of the club as a player and champion in that condition in 1981, was already in charge of DT in 2018, when he won the Colombia Cup. But now, the situation and the pressure are different.
“For me it is not a hot potato, I am part of the largest institution in South America and wherever the club needs me, I will be there. The difference of two goals is not that big, but you have to come back quickly. The team is working hard to achieve it and in these days of work we must achieve it, we have what to do it with”, remarked Herrera.
In addition, the coach commented: “I am more mature, I have more experience, I have prepared myself well. Every day training and improving the theoretical part, I am more prepared. What we did in 2018 was in the past, now comes this match that is the present and we must move it forward”.
Herrera also said: “I was fortunate to be in Spain for a 20-day training, I learned a lot and with the methodology, we have to apply what we have in Colombia. I prefer our technique beyond how athletic the Europeans are”.
Juan Camilo Alvarez Serrano
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