Celades confident in Valencia despite tough circumstances

By Sports Desk September 16, 2019

Valencia coach Albert Celades backed his squad ahead of their Champions League clash against Chelsea, although he admitted their situation was far from ideal.

The LaLiga club stunningly sacked Marcelino, who helped them win the Copa del Rey in May, as coach last week.

No Valencia player attended a pre-match news conference alongside Celades on Monday, but the former Real Madrid assistant – in his first senior coaching job – backed his squad to get through a difficult period.

"I'm the coach here and I take the decisions," he told a news conference.

"The players have to adapt to the coach, it's a two-way street.

"I have experience of situations like that which they are going through. It isn't ideal, but I'm convinced that we will get through it well."

Valencia make the trip to Stamford Bridge on the back of a slow start to the LaLiga season, having won just one of their opening four games.

However, Celades, who played for Barcelona and Madrid, believes his side will perform in the Group H clash.

"I'm the one taking decisions here. Some may like them, some may not. I'll take the decisions I see fit. I've no fear, I'm completely calm," he said.

"Whenever a coach changes it is a process of adaptation for everyone. There is a need to gel, but it is a fantastic challenge.

"I'm sure we're going to do well."

Related items

  • Tuchel to learn lessons as PSG seal victory late on in Nice Tuchel to learn lessons as PSG seal victory late on in Nice

    PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel will ensure lessons are learned from their second-half performance after a 4-1 win over Nice on Friday.

    Angel Di Maria gave Les Parisiens a two-goal lead on the south coast of France, but Nice mounted a second-half comeback when Ignatius Ganago pulled a goal back.

    The home team was reduced to nine men with two red cards in three minutes before Kylian Mbappe's introduction helped seal the win as he came on to score and assist late on.

    Tuchel said after the game that his team lacked precision and determination in the second half but was happy to come back from the international break with three points.

    "At the beginning of the second period we forgot to close out the match," he told reporters.

    "Nice played with another system, took more risks and we made easy mistake just before the (Ganago's) goal. Then after the two red's the match was decided.

    "It may be a good lesson for us, as we also lost control against Galatasaray after our goal.

    "At the start of a six game, intense series of games it's always good to start with a win and we had a very good first half."

    Nice had started the second half brightly but a second yellow card to Wylan Cyprien shown for dissent turned the momentum back in PSG's favour at the Allianz Riviera.

    "I received a charge that was not whistled and in frustration, I asked the referee with a slight gesture if there was no fault," Cyprien said.

    "He shows me a second yellow card explaining that my gesture is too vehement, even though I told him I didn't disrespect or insult him.

    "His decision had a major impact and I'm not sure if we would have equalised but he could have been more thoughtful. I think it's severe."

  • FIFA 20: Aguero & Ibrahimovic included in first Ultimate Scream pack FIFA 20: Aguero & Ibrahimovic included in first Ultimate Scream pack

    Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been included in FIFA 20's first Ultimate Scream pack ahead of Halloween.

    EA Sports announced the release of the FIFA Ultimate Team cards on Friday, with Manchester City striker Aguero and LA Galaxy star Ibrahimovic among the standout names.

    Top-rated Aguero is joined in the first batch by fellow Premier League players Dele Alli, Nicolas Otamendi and Bernard, with a second group of players to be released next Friday.

    Below, we have the list of FUT cards that are up for grabs.

    FUT Ultimate Scream pack

    LM: Bernard (Everton) - 84

    CB: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) - 85

    LM: Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund) - 85

    CAM: Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig) - 85

    CB: Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan) - 86

    CDM: William Carvalho (Real Betis) - 86

    CAM: Dele Alli (Tottenham) - 87

    CAM: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) - 88

    CAM: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) - 88

    ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) - 88

    ST: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) - 91

  • Guardiola to send Man City players 'to the fridge' in bid to stay fresh during busy December Guardiola to send Man City players 'to the fridge' in bid to stay fresh during busy December

    Pep Guardiola has a plan to make sure his Manchester City players cope with playing twice in less than 48 hours in December: "Go home, open the fridge and get inside."

    The reigning champions have been dealt a tricky hand over the festive period following fixture changes for live television coverage, with their trip to Wolves now starting at 19:45 local time on December 27.

    They then welcome Sheffield United to the Etihad Stadium on December 29, that game kicking off at 18:00, before a home match against Everton on January 1, 2020.

    Asked what he can do to combat such a quick turnaround between travelling to Molineux and hosting the Blades before the turn of the year, Guardiola replied: "Players to the fridge. I'm not joking.

    "Go home, open the fridge and get inside for 48 hours. See you at the Etihad Stadium [on December 29].

    "When I open the fridge to make an omelette, maybe I can talk with my players. But apart from that, no way.

    "It happened in my first season here. I think we played on December 31 at Anfield and then at home against Burnley [on January 2]."

    Before needing to be concerned about Christmas plans, however, Guardiola and his squad must focus on closing the gap to a red-hot Liverpool side in the coming weeks.

    After missing out by a solitary point in a thrilling title race in 2018-19, Jurgen Klopp's Reds have started the new Premier League season with eight successive wins.

    City, in contrast, have suffered defeats to Norwich City and Wolves to sit eight points off the pace in second. However, Guardiola understands there is still a long way to go, particularly with Aymeric Laporte set to bolster the squad with a return from a knee injury early in 2020.

    "For 11 years, no team in England has won back-to-back [titles]. It is difficult, of course it is," the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss told the media ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

    "But you have a rival that is unstoppable right now. Eight games, eight wins. We lost games, but in Spain the big clubs lost games, in Italy the big clubs lost games, here we are facing one team who are champions of Europe and didn't lose one game.

    "It's difficult. In some games we could win but we didn't win. Our mistakes punished us a lot. During the season there are ups and downs. We try to get better and improve.

    "From tomorrow [Saturday] and in the Champions League, we try to make an incredible step forward, to win the game against Atalanta [on Tuesday], then in February Laporte will be back, most of the players will be back.

    "We will see what happens in the later stages. Normally, when you win what we have won the last two seasons and you arrive in March and April being there, after that it's more difficult to drop points. But, in the earliest stages of the season, sometimes it's normal."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.