The Liga BBVA. Three words that the city of Gijon and all of Real Sporting de Gijón's fans are daring to dream.
The team is firing on all cylinders and have now played six matches without losing in the Liga Adelante, a streak that has lifted them to third place in the table and allowed what was once a pipedream to become a distinct possibility. Although it is not the only time they soared high in the Liga Adelante table (they were second after matchday eight), they now have their second sweet taste of the top end and this time they have reason to believe they will be there for much longer.
This is largely due to their last six matches, which they have come through unscathed. Twelve points from a possible 18 including three wins against CE Sabadell FC, CD Lugo and Hércules CF. In addition, they have made the Estadio El Molinón into a fortress and they are now the best home team.
One of the architects of the results produced by the rojiblancos is their coach, José Ramón Sandoval. Through his attractive but risky system, Sandoval has uncovered a rich vein of talent at Sporting's youth academy, and its players' passion for the club has proved to be a formula for success. "When I put a player on the pitch, I am not thinking about whether or not his is from the academy, just about putting a professional player out there. At the end of the day, I think they are the ones who have to play in the club's colours", he stated after the match in the Ángel Carro. As many as seven academy players played last Saturday against Hércules, which the team from Asturias won 0-1.
Sporting de Gijón, with their attractive, attacking football, are the second highest goal-scorers in the Liga Adelante. Also, some great performances from Serbian striker Stefan Šćepović have been a huge factor in getting his team to third position in the division. His eleven goals have helped turn the 28 by his team up to matchday 17 into points. Only three points separates his side from second-place team RC Recreativo de Huelva and the leader, RC Deportivo de La Coruña, is just five points ahead. It is not long now until Sporting may become a Liga BBVA team once more and be able to enjoy its 41st campaign in the Liga BBVA.