Espanyol boss Rubi has revealed his excitement about being near the top of the La Liga table after a good start to the season.
The Catalan side have been superb this season and remain unbeaten at the RCDE stadium. Rubi’s men are making a real impression and picked up their third straight clean sheet against Eibar on Tuesday – winning the game 1-0 thanks to a Mario Hermoso goal.
Rubi, who arrived to replace Quique Sanchez Flores over the summer spoke to reporters ahead of Friday night’s game with Rayo Vallecano.
“We are all excited, ” he said. “But we must not get carried away, we are all just focused on playing against Rayo.
“Barcelona and Real Madrid are in a long-distance race and for us to be spoken about in that race – but it will be harder and harder to catch them as they win well.
“If we want to be up their, then we must win a lot of games and it is up to the squad if they want to do that.”
Friday’s opponents Rayo fought back following a 5-1 defeat to Alaves last week to hold Real Sociedad in the midweek game, but they will have their work cut out for them on Friday night against Rubi’s impressive visitors.
Goals from Luis Advincula and Oscar Trejo had given Rayo the lead in midweek, but they were unable to hold on for a vital win after Willian Jose struck late for the Basque side.
They will have taken encouragement from it though and will approach Friday’s game in good spirits.
Gorka Elustondo is out for several weeks with a groin injury, whilst Abdoulaye Ba is back from a ban and should slot in at centre-back for the home side.
For the visitors, David Lopez is struggling with a knock so Oscar Duarte is likely to feature at centre-back. Leo Baptistao is also a minor doubt but is expected to play.