Brazilian forward Juliano Manfro expressed CD Almuñecar City “still believe” they can finish in the top four - following their hard-fought 1-0 victory over CD Cultural Asako Motríl.
#CDAC were facing a must-win scenario going into the game against a fellow top-four-chasing side and Manfro’s goal early in the second-half was enough to earn all three points.
Manfro admitted the victory means a lot to everyone, from the players to the coaches.
“It means a lot for us, especially because Juan Carlos, Rafa and Victor made us believe from the very beginning and we grew in our training sessions, especially this week,” Manfro said.
“We worked very hard ahead of this game, and went into it with a lot of confidence, so now it’s about focussing on the next game and the next opponent.
“We still believe that we can finish in the top four and go onto the next stage, and we can fight against the big teams.”
After creating several openings through the first hour, the breakthrough come in the 66th minute. Captain Taylor James worked the ball out to the right to Joe Montero, whose cross was glanced into the path of Manfro by the Motríl defender.
The 23-year-old pounced at the back post and lashed home into the roof of the net. Manfro believes the team will be full of confidence going into next weekend’s crucial game against second-bottom CD Dúrcal.
He added: “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing since the beginning. We have a young team with a desire to win, and we also have a very experienced head coach in Juan Carlos.
“He knows how to win and how to get promotion. They are helping us a lot, and I’m pretty sure this week that they’re going to prepare good training sessions and we’re going to come ready.
“We’re going to go into next weekend with the same confidence that we had this weekend.”
Having stood out for the Under-23 side in the first few months of the season, head coach Juan Carlos Añón called Manfro up to the senior team.
The Brazilian, who played back in his home country before coming to Spain last summer, has made seven appearances in Primera Andaluza (Granada) this season and his goal against Motríl keeps their hopes of a top-four finish alive.
“I am very happy with the goal, especially because this week I did some extra training, some crossing with my Brazilian friends,” Manfro said.
“We did a lot of repetitions of crossing from the right and coincidence or not the goal today was like that. A cross from the right wing, then I was at the back post and I scored with my left foot.
“It was all a result of all the hard work during the week and also the season as a whole.”