Valverde: I accept the challenge
Valencia officially announced the appointment of former Athletic Bilbao player and coach, Ernesto Valverde as their new manager, replacing the recently sacked, Mauricio Pellegrino, and despite only having a six month contract, Valverde willingly accepts the challenge of bringing Valencia back into the top four of the league.
- By Tom Conn Follow @TomConnISF
In his first official press conference, Valverde was careful not to comment on the state of the squad out of respect for Pellegrino and denied reports that he has a deal in place to take over as manager of Athletic Bilbao next summer.
“I have signed for six months because that’s what I was offered. I want to make this clear: I have made no verbal agreement with Athletic Bilbao, there is no clause in my contract, I have no problems with what I’ve been offered, and I trust in my ability.
“I hope that the team will be able to get results so that I can continue here. I have never signed a contract for more than a year. I see a two-year contract as a long contract.
“I want to thank Valencia for showing faith in me and for giving me this chance. I’m proud to be here and I want to return the confidence they have shown in me by delivering results and good football.
“Anything I say about the state of the squad could be seen as criticism of the former coach, so I prefer not to comment on that. We have to maintain our strengths but we need to make improvements in some areas. I have the utmost respect for Pellegrino’s work. I have to get the best out of the squad without saying too much for now, I am not a disloyal person.
“Valencia’s main aim has always been to qualify for the Champions League and I think it still is. That’s a long term aim but I want the team to start playing with confidence again.
“This is the first time I’ve taken over a team in the middle of a season, it won’t an easy job. I’m not going to beat around the bush: There is a crisis here and the fans are not happy with the way things are. That’s not a criticism of the previous coach, but the results have provoked a sense of urgency. I accept the challenge and let’s see how it goes.”
Under the advisement of Valencia president, Manuel Llorente, Valverde will not travel with the squad as they play their final Champions League group stage match against Lille, but will be on the bench for this Saturday’s match against Osasuna.