Valencia CF13 April 2024

Baraja: "We have to play with the calm and confidence"

Valencia CF's head coach Rubén Baraja previewed Monday night's game against CA Osasuna on Matchday 31 of LaLiga EA Sports at El Sadar.

Is there pressure to get into Europe?

No. There are two things that are important. One is to focus on the next game, and concentrate on what we can do in Pamplona. We know that we are in a good situation for the final stretch of the season and we don't have to have pressure. We have to play freely, and our objective is not defined by where we are now. Everything has been based on hard work and effort, and if the competition gives us that possibility, then we will try to take it.


I'm sending out the message that they need to be brave in the remainder of the season, playing in the same way that has taken us this far. We need to be aggressive, press, be intense, and stay true to the process we've had throughout the season and crystalise it. We need to bolster our strengths to carry it out. We are in a situation that nobody expected us to be in.

Unity among the team

All the details are important: The fact that there is a group, a common goal, a great atmosphere in the dressing room. From time-to-time we meet for lunch or dinner, or do some activities with them. It's positive. Unfortunately, in football these situations are not common. It is not easy to find a group that works in the same way, where there is that respect for one's teammates.

Hugo González and Pablo Gozálbez

They could come into the squad. They are in our dynamic. They always have a chance to come in. We are at that point where the B team are about to close their season. And if they aren't in the squad, they will go play with VCF Mestalla as they have been doing, to make a difference. One of the things that has been shown is that if you work and are persistent, your opportunity will come.

A tough fixture

The context we are in has to make us go into the game without looking below us. I think we’ve already reached that initial objective.

Now, we have to play with the calm and confidence that the team have been demonstrating through our work in the past 30 fixtures, and what the team have been showing throughout the season. I think we have to feel liberated and go into the Osasuna game to give it our all, but being aware of the difficulty it entails of course.

Osasuna compete very well. We are in a situation where we have eight games left and we have to take things game-by-game, with the demand on ourselves that comes with wearing this shirt, and play with confidence. Earning these privileged positions is going to be very difficult, but this match is not going to be a final decider.

Mosquera's Golden Boy nomination

The season has shown us that Cristhian's potential is a reality. After a full season he has established himself in the Primera División and is playing at a high level, but this means continuing to raise the level each season. We don't know what the limit is for him.

The defensive statistics are positive and help us to be competitive. If you don't concede many goals, you always have a chance. Commitment, tactical work, effort and dedication are key. We have also improved a lot due to the commitment of the players, because they believed in themselves.. It is the result of a lot of hard work.

Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate

He has done a fantastic job. We coincided in the Segunda División, with him at Numancia and me at Sporting Gijon. At that time he had a fantastic season. Now in the Primera División, he has also taken Osasuna to a cup final and consolidated them in the top flight, which is not easy. The management he has done is outstanding and that time and trust that the club gave to him reinforces you when it comes to being calm about objectives. It gives you peace of mind. He has had that, as well as the support and peace of mind of the club's owners. Hopefully I can have that confidence in the long term and have as beautiful an evolution as he has had at Osasuna in the long term.

Options to replace Gayà at left-back

José's absence has opened up a range of opportunities for us. Foulquier, Jesús, Yarek and even Thierry and Cenk are in contention. It is difficult to replace José but whoever plays will do their best.

Message to VCF Femenino

I want to send my best encouragement to the women’s team for tomorrow and see if we can win the derby at Mestalla.

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