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The over-achieving coach has once again stressed that his side will not be too disappointed if they fail to book a ticket to Europe for next term.

Malaga proved once again that their impressive achievement in the Primera Division this season is no fluke as they earned a valuable 1-1 draw against their direct rivals for Europe, Deportivo La Coruna, at the weekend.

The draw left the humble Andalucian outfit seventh in the standings, just a solitary point away from the Europa League zone, but coach Antonio Tapia has moved quickly to quell any pressure or over-expectations fans and pundits may have on his players for the remainder of the campaign.

“We have a squad that is demonstrating a lot of maturity and showing a high level of commitment, but we cannot become anxious as it will harm us,” he was quoted as saying by AS.

“I am content with where we are now. Qualifying for Europe is a reward, not an obligation. In the end, Malaga will finish where we deserve to finish. What I can say is that I am almost certain we will finish in the top eight, which is a great achievement.”

Questions were also raised about Tapia's future, as a strong finish to the campaign will see a number of bigger clubs clamouring for his signature.

“I don’t like using the media to create controversy or put pressure [on the club]. The first person who will know about my future will be [president] Fernando Sanz,” he replied.

“In November, I could have joined Queens Park Rangers but I did not sign anything. There were also rumours that I had agreed to join Real Betis, but as it turned out, they now have a new coach who could stay on if he guides them to safety.

“I will see how things go and I will speak with the president whenever he deems it appropriate.”

In addition to being just one point off the top six, Malaga are a massive nine points ahead of Real Mallorca in ninth.

KS Leong, Goal.com

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