QUERETARO, Mexico – Argentine defender Diego Novaretti said Queretaro FC had made improvements under head coach Rafael Puente Jr. and was ready to showcase them during the upcoming 2018-2019 Mexican-league season.
“We’ve completely changed how we play. There’s been a growth stage, (an adjustment) to a different style, and we expect that can be reflected in our play,” Novaretti said Thursday at a press conference in the central city of Queretaro.
Novaretti, one of the leaders of the team’s defense, said the team’s goal was to qualify for the playoffs in the first championship of the new season, the Apertura, which runs from July 20 to Nov. 25.
“I hope this tournament goes the way we all want it to, that we can be in the playoffs and not have to watch them at home, because that’s horrible and we don’t like that at all,” the 33-year-old said.
While acknowledging that each player has his own personal goals, Novaretti said the team’s objectives take precedence and that fulfilling them requires a step-by-step process.
“The team looks different. I hope that motivation and that desire on the field can be transmitted to the people and convince them of what we’re trying to do,” he added.
Referring to the previous season, the 2017-2018 Clausura championship, Novaretti said he was pleased about having played all 17 games but was frustrated that the team had finished 14th out of 18 teams and failed to make the playoffs.
He particularly lamented the team’s inability to win games at home late in the season.
Queretaro has bolstered its line-up ahead of the Apertura championship by signing three attacking players – Argentine Daniel Villalba and Mexicans Gael Acosta and Paul Uscanga.
The team’s first match in that championship will be an away match against Atlas on July 20.
“We have high hopes and are prepared to get off to as good of a start as possible. Although we’re playing the first match on the road, we’re going to try to make sure our matches are the same whether we’re at home or away,” Novaretti said.