Valencia CF02 February 2024

Baraja: “We need to face the game with a great mentality and concentration”

The coach looks at the game against UD Almería

Valencia CF coach, Rubén Baraja, spoke ahead of the game against UD Almería at Mestalla, which takes place early on Saturday afternoon.

Rafa Mir

“In the end, it is a situation that happened at the last minute in the transfer market and the details have to be explained by the club or, in this case, Corona, who is in charge of this type of operation. I have been informed at all times. Miguel will explain it and there is not much else to it. I'm not here to assess the details".

There are situations that can affect you on a personal level, and that is what can bother you the most. He is a player who I know, in the end, the move didn’t happen and everything will be explained. My focus as a coach is that tomorrow we have an important game”.

Assessing the squad

“You can't know (whether we are better or worse) because in the summer nobody, including the media, thought the team would respond the way we did. Hard work, conviction and results have led us to the situation we are in. There is the entire second half of the season ahead and we have to focus on the objective, which is to compete well in each game. I have absolute confidence in the team, in how they are working. We don't know where these players are capable of taking Valencia CF; this is what motivates me and what I am focused on.”


“The club set out some guidelines in the transfer market, as they did in the summer, in which economic adjustments that I am not in charge of had to be made, and the club transmitted the message. 

This situation has been going on since last summer and is an economic criterion. Paulista was a player with prestige, one of our captains, and the financial aspect took priority over the sporting side.

We try to field players who perform and from there, economics have taken precedence. We appreciate his commitment, he is a good professional, and that economic criterion is what rules the transfer market.

We can't come here to dramatise and look for excuses, it's not my style. The team have won with Gabi, without Gabi, with Diakhaby, without Diakhaby, with Mosquera, without Mosquera, and the most important thing is always the team and the group.”

His statements to Spanish TV

“They asked me how I would like Valencia CF to be in the future and I am ambitious. I think that in the future I would like to have a Valencia CF that are among the best teams, that have a great squad...but we are talking about the future. In the present, I know the situation the club is in, the time we are going through, but I do have in mind where I want to go. Let's not mix things up. I am happy and satisfied with the work by the players, I think that we can go further in this second half of the season if we work well and maintain our competitive tension, and the future is another matter.”

The match against UD Almería

"We have a very important game ahead because we are coming off a defeat and we are playing at Mestalla again. That will help us to continue with this hope, with us competing, with our fans continuing to believe in us and in our way of doing things. That means that tomorrow we will do many things well to win the game.”

The chance of external circumstances affecting players

“The feeling I have is that the players are focused on what they have to be focused on: On doing things well and being competitive. We are going to face a team that compete well and are going to make it difficult for us tomorrow. We have to respect the competition. We have to face it with a great mentality and come into the game with the optimal focus.”

Peter Federico

“A situation arose to reinforce the wing, where we didn’t have too much, and he is a footballer with those characteristics. He comes here with the desire and ambition to do things well. He is going to integrate into the group quickly and we will prepare him as best as possible so that he is available as soon as possible. He will be in the squad tomorrow.”


“We can't ask more from our fans. Hopefully, this excitement will be maintained and we have to show tomorrow that these things do not affect us and that it will make us stronger as a group. It will generate opportunities for the other players who were not

participating and they will help us overcome the difficulties. Our fans are above everything in every way.”

assessing the ProJECT

“I don't have to make those types of evaluations. It is a process. We are building something with very young players and the club's economic circumstances, and what I am clear about is where I want to go. Logically, when a coach has ambitions and wants certain things, the club have to support him. That does not mean that we have to go off-script.

It means working with the same dedication, knowing that the details are important, growing in certain ways and consolidating ourselves. You don’t know what the future holds. 

My present is magnificent in that we are in a very interesting situation in the table, the team are responding well, I have some young players with tremendous ambition, Mestalla is supporting us... why do I have to look at the negatives when there are positive things? I have come here to build, grow and contribute.”


“He arrived a little tired from the AFCON, but he will be in the squad tomorrow.”

Baraja's situation on a personal level

“I'm fine. I consider that there are things that are beyond my control and I always save my energy for what seems important to me: Focusing on a good week of work and competing tomorrow.

You have to focus on that. Everything in the transfer market has to be over now, and we have to trust in ourselves for the remainder of the season. I have not considered a situation like that of Gattuso, it is not my style, but in football, you can never know what anyone is going to decide.

When I say that I am happy, it is because I see a team that are following me, who see that I trust in them, with a good situation in the table, and that we have a second half of the campaign in which -if we do things well- we can fight to achieve our goal and perhaps look higher up. This is what makes me happy. I always speak from an overall perspective. 

The situation we have experienced in this transfer window has not been pleasant because we have lost a player with experience and importance and we have brought in a player that we have to see perform, but overall I have to make a good assessment. 

I hope to have a second half of the season in which the team respond and we continue to be competitive. That's why I don't want to dramatise, we have to enjoy the situation we have and the privilege I have of what I am experiencing with Valencia CF."

Situations in the season, the transfer market and support of the club

“I have been talking about when you have a project for the future, in which there is a long-term plan in which a project is generated with a coach, in which they say there is a time in which they are going to work on this dynamic or this plan. This was what I meant. 

At this time, the economic situation has taken precedence over the sporting side and, from that point on, this situation should not affect me in the sense of feeling disappointed. It was already seen in the previous window. Sportswise, Paulista's departure takes away more than it adds to us, but we are not here to look for schemes, nor to assess why this thing or that thing has been done, but rather to move forward with the objective and

work with a squad that has shown that they have the desire and want to push and grow. I have to support them and be with them. That's why I think like that. The team, the fans who are supporting and backing us, they deserve it. I feel that way and I want to give joy to our fans. There are circumstances that I cannot control and that do not depend on me.”

A potential weakening of the squad

“This is something that Miguel must explain and it is beyond my control. The facts have shown that the team have been competing with the players we have put on the pitch. The club have never told me to play anyone or not. I have had absolute. I also don't even think about why you would pay 5m for one player and 12m for another. It's not my job. I have already said that it is a situation that has prioritised the economic over the sporting.

The decision-making process

“I always convey my opinion when asked. Many of the things that happened at the beginning of the season had my support and opinion. We knew that there were certain things that had to be done no matter what, and they have been done. There are others in which I would like the decision to have been different, but I worry about my own side: Getting through the situation, which is enough in itself.”

The dressing room 

“They are eager to turn the page on the match against Atlético de Madrid and win tomorrow. I have seen a good attitude. The week has been good, we have been critical in some facets of our play and I expect the best from the team tomorrow.”

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