Almeria game important for Espanyol

Espanyol defender Diego Colotto has stressed ahead of the game at Almeria the importance of retaining focus for the entire 90 minutes.

Espanyol vs Atletico

The Catalans lost at home to Real Sociedad in their last Primera Division match, taking a first-half lead before conceding goals in the 69th and 88th minutes, and a month earlier were defeated by Barcelona due to an Alexis Sanchez goal scored midway through the second half.

Those two matches constitute half of the club's four defeats in six league matches, a run that has seen Javier Aguirre's side slide down the league table and their priorities subsequently switching from fighting for a European spot to nervously looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone, which they are just six points clear of.

The trip to Almeria, who have slid back into the relegation zone on the back of consecutive defeats, represents as good a chance as any for Espanyol to get back to winning ways, but Colotto knows they cannot afford any late lapses of concentration.

"We need to improve and find ways to close out games better," he told a press conference.

"We have been a bit inconsistent within games, one minute it's all going well, the next it isn't."

Questions have also been asked about the team's attacking qualities, as they have averaged just 1.2 goals per game, leading to a debate about how effective the team's style of play is.

"Some people will like our style of play and others won't, but we always show commitment and try to achieve our objectives," said Colotto in defence of Espanyol's direct and combative style, which prioritises positional sense, hard work and physical strength over ball possession.

"We just try and do what the coach tells us as well as possible and try to put his vision into practice."

Espanyol will have to make do without Javi Lopez but Almeria are still without their top scorer Rodri, who is suffering from a foot injury, meaning that Oscar Diaz will retain his place in attack for Francisco Javier Rodriguez's side, who will also be missing defender Hernan Pellerano and midfielder Corona.

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