Valencia CF15 May 2024

Baraja: "You have to be successful with your chances against Real Sociedad"

The Valencia CF coach talks to the media before the game at Anoeta

Rubén Baraja gave a press conference ahead of Valencia CF's midweek LaLiga match with Real Sociedad, which sees the team travel to the Basque Country for an away fixture.

Real Sociedad

They do many things well and repeat them. You have to be successful with your chances and defend very well. They are at a high level in every way. They have great pace with and without the ball. They press, they move at a high speed, they have various structures. They have had a great season. In close matches he has players who can beat you with individual talent and, above all, they are good on a collective level. They are very well organised. Success doesn't come overnight. They have believed in the long-term project. They have a philosophy in which they invest in homegrown players and also players who make a difference who can complement that. Without a doubt, they are an example to follow. Hopefully our improvement can lead us to reach those levels.

Injuries to Fran Pérez and Hugo Duro 

Fran is coming off some discomfort with his back. He has had other cases of this during the year but they have not been like this one. We're going to see how it goes and prepare so that he recovers well.

Hugo, has adductor discomfort. It is not clear if we will take him. Tomorrow we'll see.

Mamardashvili's position in a ranking of top goalkeepers

I think everything depends on his performance and capabilities. He is a high-level goalkeeper who makes us better and more competitive. He is more decisive with saves that earn us points. He's very consistent. One of the things that he has improved is consistency, as everyone can make mistakes but his improvement has been evident. It's typical of the process. You grow and prepare for challenges. I couldn't tell you what position he would be ranked in.

A potential renewal for Rivero

You're talking to me about preseason. Right now there are current situations that must be resolved, then all hypothetical situations have to be resolved. There is time. We will see.

Improvements on set pieces

You have to have the humility to recognise that even though you do many things well, there are things that can be improved -even those that you are doing well. We spend a lot of time on it but we have to improve it. It's something that can get better, you have to work on it, insist, keep hammering away at this. Sometimes in football what makes you win is the set pieces, both offensive and defensive ones.

Correcting a lack of goals

One of the main things that has made us competitive is knowing our strengths and weaknesses. It's obviously something new. We have been one of the most effective teams this season. We've been one of those sides with the fewest shots faced, with a great defensive percentage. There are also processes, in which there are spells in which you might have three chances and you don't score them, followed by scoring those that are not so easy. You have to insist and know what you have in your favour to be competitive, and we know how to do that. That's why, at this point, we are where we are.

Hugo Duro has been performing excellently and I always say that he can improve. It is the competition that shows where all of this is for you. When the season ends we will analyse where we can improve things.

Following Real Sociedad's example

You never know. This is a process. Imanol Alguacil has had results from the first moment thanks to his work, but beyond the results he has worked conscientiously on his side's identity, bringing through young players, protecting them, promoting them. Then, obviously they have invested in high performance players who can win games, and that comes from the perspective that the club have had a project and have believed in the coach.

Gayà's recovery from injury

He had a muscle tear. He has worked following a logical process for an injury like this. The other day he was in the squad and tomorrow he will participate. It is the normal process for such an injury.

He is one of the players who gives us a boost in attack. He gets forward and provides surprise. We need to bring together players who can provide things, players with experience, and he knows what it means to be the captain of Valencia CF.

Hugo Guillamon’s situation

It's like when Javi Guerra plays and you ask me about him. He has been playing and his performance has been positive. He has been participating throughout the year and will participate more. If Hugo has to be angry with anyone, it's with me, but it's not that I don’t believe in him. He is a professional, respects everybody and will have his moments. If this season has shown us anything, it is that with a small squad everyone has their opportunity.

Possible sanction to Girona FC

I didn't know that. But we want to be in the best position possible. During the year we have been in a position where we are now and we would always like to try to be in the best possible position, trying to get as many points as possible in these 9 remaining points. Why not? Maybe we can win those 3 matches. We must be optimistic and think that if we compete well, we are up to anyone's level. We’ll see tomorrow we have already seen what happened against Alavés and Rayo where we’ve only got one point at home. You can’t always get what you want you have to work for it in the pitch. We are Valencia CF and Valencia CF must be as demanding as the competition allows us to be as high as possible.


Great goal-scoring performance by Hugo Duro

Hugo Duro has been at a fantastic performance. His goal tally is very good. I always encourage him to think that he can compete to improve and grow in that aspect. There are still 3 games left.


Latest results

The competition is curious like that. You never know where the points are. You have to talk about a computation and not about streaks or moments. If you don't manage to win, you can't grow in the standings, but we are in a dynamic that has led us to 3 defeats, we changed the other day the dynamic of having the same result and now we have to see if we can win in these three matches. I can't stop to think about streaks. We have to assume that the competition can lead to this type of situation.

A potential absence of fans at Mestalla

The Girona game is far away. I'm focused on tomorrow's game. Physically, it is important that the team recover, and then we will analyse the match against Girona. I have already said what I thought about it. For us, it is essential to have our fans behind us, but we also have to respect their judgement.

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