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VALENCIA

Valverde: "Fires are put out with water, not gasoline"

"Everyone said many different things on my first day but I think that the players like to play good football and this is what we're going to try and do."

EFE

Valverde: "Fires are put out with water, not gasoline"

Ernesto Valverde takes charge of his first game as new Valencia coach on Saturday, away to Osasuna, and in his pre-match press conference revealed that he was taking a reconciliatory approach with his players, declaring: "fires are put out with water, not gasoline".

Some Valencia players, most notably Fernando Gago, were furious last weekend when Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked by the club after the 2-5 defeat to Real Sociedad at the Mestalla, and allegedly threatened to leave the club. This prompted veteran midfielder David Albelda to say last week: "anyone who doesn't want to stay at the club should leave".

But Valverde assured the press he did no such thing when he met the players.

"In my first talk with the team I never said that anyone who doesn't want to be here should leave, I didn't use those words," he said, adding that he thought the atmosphere in the squad was "normal".

"Everyone said many different things on my first day but I think that the players like to play good football and this is what we're going to try and do."

Valverde knows that a trip to Pamplona is not an ideal first outing with his new club, due to the intensity with which Osasuna play, and described the Navarrans as "a strong team with a great attitude".

And he stressed that he would be imposing a radical change on the team. "The players are the same although each coach tries to add little details to his team. Our training sessions will be very important so that the players can pick up new ideas but the team are up against it and I'm conscience of that. We have to take things slowly but we also have to win games."

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