ahead of Chelsea
UCL tie could lead
Valencia could face disciplinary action from UEFA after no player attended the pre-match press conference ahead of their Champions League tie against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The players refused to attend the pre-match press conference in the wake of last week’s sacking of popular manager Marcelino, who led them to Copa del Rey success and secured Champions League qualification last season.
New boss Albert Celades took press conference duties alone on Monday evening, yet he insisted that no matter what the feelings are inside the camp, the team will be motivated to beat Chelsea.
He said: “Obviously it’s not an ideal situation but it’s the players’ decision, really. I don’t have much more to say about that. There isn’t anything I can do about it.
“I speak to the players every day. They took this decision but there is always dialogue. The reaction I’ve had has been very good and I’m sure it will continue to improve.
“The spirit is very good. [Tuesday] is the start of the best club competition in Europe and that is ample motivation for the players to give their best.
“They want to play, taste the atmosphere and be in the starting XI. No one wants to miss out and that, for me, is the most important thing.”
Their opponents beat Wolves 5-2 on Saturday and, ironically, Valencia were beaten by the same scoreline in Celades’ first match in charge against Barcelona at the weekend.
Now his side face a tough test against Frank Lampard’s side on Tuesday, and the Spaniard has been complimentary of the Premier League side ahead of that game.
He added: “They are a great side with some fantastic individual players.
“It will be a big challenge but a fascinating one too. We’re sure they can cause us a lot of problems.
“We’re going to prepare for the game in the best way possible and try to get a result.”
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