FOOTBALL

Valencia coach confident despite losses

Valencia coach confident despite losses
Interim Valencia soccer coach Salvador 'Voro' Gonzalez says he is confident despite string of losses.

Interim Valencia soccer coach Salvador 'Voro' Gonzalez said he needed to instil fresh confidence into his struggling players after a late goal deprived them of a first league win since October.

Voro, a former Valencia player, took charge of the Spanish club on an interim basis after Cesare Prandelli resigned on December 30.

Valencia's frailties were evident in a 3-3 draw at bottom club Osasuna on Monday. They had a chance to wrap up the game but midfielder Dani Parejo had a penalty saved by Osasuna goalkeeper Mario Fernandez in the 86th minute and then Carlos Clerc's last-gasp equaliser denied them all three points.

'We are in need of an important boost in confidence. There are things we need to change and what worries me the most is the psychological aspect,' Voro told local sports newspaper Superdeporte.

'We will work on this and I'm optimistic we can turn things around.'

'This result is a huge psychological blow.

'It's a pity about the penalty because it would have given us the necessary calmness to approach differently the last minutes of the game.'

Valencia are one of Spain's most successful clubs with six league titles and reached successive UEFA Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001 but they have fallen on hard times and are in a relegation battle in 17th place in the 20-team league.

Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan is a part of the Valencia squad, but his most recent league match for the club was in August of 2016.

Valencia have not kept a clean sheet this season and are looking to strengthen their squad in the January transfer market.

They play away to Celta Vigo on Thursday in the second leg of their King's Cup round-of-16 tie and face a 4-1 deficit.

Reuters