‘The stats prove my quality’ – Corchia out to win regular spot at Espanyol

The French defender wants his chance to impress in La Liga after a coaching change has seen Pablo Machin come in

Sebastien Corchia is eager to impress in Espanyol’s Europa League clash on Thursday away to Ferencvaros to make a point to coach Machin and earn a regular place in the club’s starting XI.

The once-capped France international gave a stellar performance in the previous round of the competition against Ludogorets, earning a spot in the official UEFA Team of the Week.

That was no flash in the pan, though. Over the course of the season, he leads the team standings in key passes, crossing, successful dribbles and interceptions, while he is tied first in shots blocked.

Nevertheless, he found himself back out of the picture for the following weekend’s league clash against Atletico Madrid having been the victim of the coaching change in October that saw David Gallego depart the club.

He told Goal: “I have enjoyed some super performances in La Liga, and I can see that from the stats. I have been doing a fine job in defence, with interceptions and blocks, and in attack I have been delivering crosses and key passes.

“So I am happy with my stats, which prove my qualities – and the rest is always up to the coach. That’s football.”

But the 29-year-old revealed a desire to earn more game time for a team that has performed well on the continent but is struggling in 19th domestically. He is targeting another European victory in a bid to make that happen.

“I feel that the season started really well for me with good performances in La Liga for my new club, and as a team we have also had a lot of success in the Europa League games so far,” he said.

“Now we have to make sure that we win the group with our away game against Ferencvaros. That would be ideal.

“With our qualities, I believe it is only natural that we must win the group and qualify for the knockout stage of the competition. 

“The level of the clubs in La Liga is so superior to other leagues that we must go far in the Europa League. We have shown that strength so far and we deservedly lead the group. We could go far in this tournament.

“I have played more in the Europa League than in La Liga, but as a player you always want to play every game, and I work hard every day at training to convince the coach to use me more in La Liga.” 

Since Machin, who loaned Corchia to Benfica from Sevilla last term, arrived at the club, there has been a switch in system from a back four to a back three, but the former Lille man insists that he is equally comfortable playing on the right in both formations.

“I see myself both as a right-back in a four-man defence as well as the right wing-back or right midfielder in the new system, so that is no problem for me. I can play both systems,” he said. 

“Some of my best qualities are in defence, and some of them are in attack, which the stats show quite clearly. So this change in system is not a problem for me. I actually believe that the new system fits me well.”

Corchia has played six times in all competitions this season but has yet to feature in the league under Machin.

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