"We don’t want to make any mistakes with Cheryshev!"

Gary Neville confirmed that new signing Denis Cheryshev is in his list for tomorrow’s Cup tie but is undecided as to whether he will start.

In his press conference this afternoon, Gary Neville confirmed that new signing Denis Cheryshev is in his squad list for tomorrow’s Copa del Rey semi-final tie against Barcelona, but added that he is still undecided as to whether the winger will start the game. The coach explained that Enzo Pérez, Paco Alcácer and Javi Fuego are not available for the game but all three may return for Sunday’s trip to Betis.

Valencia only recently played Barcelona in the league, how will that serve you in this tie?

We have to compete. We’ve had good luck in the Copa – the kind of luck we were missing on Sunday. We’ve been gaining good results in the Cup so far this season and we managed to draw against Barcelona in the league and we have to take all of those qualities into tomorrow’s match. It’s an important game on a big stage, over two games and the important thing is that we return to Mestalla with a big opportunity – that’s the objective tomorrow night.

Have you been misleading us during the winter transfer window, which you described as “useless” and “ridiculous”?

Have I been misleading you? I think you’ve obviously been a reporter for a long time and understand when I sit here and say this market is useless you can see the transfers which are done. Someone mentioned to me that in the whole of Spain during this window, there were only 39 transfers and only 20 million euros spent. I know in other parts of Europe it’s been a very disappointing window; when I use the word ‘useless’ – I don’t mean it literally – obviously there is some business done and actually, I think we have done two very good bits of business. If you asked me two weeks ago if we would get Siquiera and Cheryshev, I would have said there was no possibility. The work of García Pitarch yesterday was fantastic. I think Cheryshev only became available at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon and his arrival is a gift; this is a player who’s been on Valencia’s radar for 12 to 18 months – it’s not something that’s just appeared. He’s a player who you don’t think will suddenly become available. I don’t lie to you – but I also don’t tell you everything. I think you understand that I have to keep some secrets. The Cheryshev deal just appeared, completely out of the blue but that’s not to say it’s a panic buy, let’s be very clear about that.

The English love gambling – as an Englishman yourself, if you have to place a bet, would you gamble on fielding Cheryshev from the start tomorrow?

(Laughs) You’ve just degraded a whole nation of people! We all like to drink beer and bet.... (Laughs) I don’t mind a beer but I don’t like to bet (laughs). You’ll have to wait for tomorrow. He’s in the list but I think we’re still actually waiting for some confirmation from the Federation about the situation; there was some confusion and we don’t want to make the same mistake others have made! He’s had one training session and it’s a big decision to play him at Camp Nou but I understand why you want him on the pitch – you want the headline, I know!


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