Copa semi-final not on Arrasate's mind

Real Sociedad coach Jagoba Arrasate has insisted his team are 100 per cent focused on their league game with Levante and not their Copa del Rey semi-final.

Jagoba Arrasate the coach of Real Sociedad

The Basques have the opportunity to reach their first Cup final since 1988 on Wednesday, but must also respond to their 4-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid last Sunday, which meant they ceded ground to Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal in their bid for fourth spot.

"The only team wearing blue and red in our minds at the moment is Levante," Arrasate told a press conference.

And he insisted that the recent results of Joaquin Caparros' side, who are unbeaten in their last four games, means they cannot be taken for granted.

"They are a strong team physically, they are dangerous on the counter-attack and they are in very good form," he said.

The only fresh absentee for La Real is defender Mikel Gonzalez, who picked up an injury during the 2-0 Cup defeat at Barcelona.

Markel Bergara has been deemed fit to play but Arrasate indicated he may rest the midfielder with the second leg Copa tie with Barcelona next Wednesday in mind. Sergio Canales, who made his debut for the Basques late in the second half at the Nou Camp is also unlikely to start, as the coach said he would introduce the former Racing Santander, Real Madrid and Valencia player "little by little".

Levante drew a blank at home to Rayo Vallecano last week but enjoyed a strong run of results in January, beating Sevilla and Malaga as well as holding Barcelona to a draw.

But Caparros insisted in his pre-match press briefing that his team would not rest on their laurels or congratulate themselves.

"The past is the past and the only thing we are doing now is focusing on Real Sociedad," he said.

"We need to improve in certain aspects such as ball possession. At the start of the season we played with more intensity, as we showed against Sevilla and Real Sociedad, and we need to recover that."

Striker Victor Casadesus has been named in the squad for the game for the first time since joining on loan from Mallorca, although former Liverpool midfielder Momo Sissoko, another late arrival in the January transfer window, will have to wait a little longer before making his debut for Levante.



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