Valencia CF15 April 2024

Baraja: "It's a prestigious victory and we managed to defend the result"

Rubén Baraja reflected in his post-match press conference on the 0-1 away win over Club Atlético Osasuna at El Sadar on Matchday 31 of LaLiga EA Sports. 

The game                                                                                                                                                                   

“The result is magnificent. In Pamplona, suffering has to be part of your plan. We had to be very precise and rigorous in our marking and our second balls. In the stretch in which we were at our best, we made the difference with the goal. Then we needed to come out with more danger, although Osasuna took a step forward and pushed with the help of their fans.

We had the ability to defend the result. We have to value this highly. It is a prestigious victory, at a very tough ground, another clean sheet, and we managed the final part which was a bit strange with that harsh penalty. I'm happy for the players, because we took advantage of our moment to get ahead and that strengthened us later.”

Seventh place

“It is important and I try to talk about it with the players: Focus on the game and not on the consequences. Winning two games away from home is differential because it makes you look upwards in the table. We must continue with this work. 

We have a very nice game against Betis coming up, and this is the way forward. Anything that involves putting excessive pressure on ourselves does not help us. The kids are understanding it well, taking in the demands of the moment, and they are very happy with the result."

The highlights of the game

“In order to win here you have to do a lot of things well. You have to be strong in your area, be forceful, not let them have second balls... and then when you have the possibility of hurting them, such as the action for the goal, convert your chances. 

We had to defend the set pieces well... We did it, knowing the difficulty present. It was a game in which we had to suffer and with such young players, you can see how the players are establishing themselves through competing, paying attention to the details, being rigorous in the small things that are what later add up for points."

The team's growth

“Everything is a process and when you give responsibility and confidence to young players and demand that along the way they grow to the level of demand that Valencia CF have, it is nice to see how, at grounds like this, you can sense their evolution. Our 19 year old players look like they are 27.

Our defensive line, except Foulquier, are all 21/22/23 years old, in the it's midfield the same, except Pepelu, they are all very young and it is surprising how the team are competing in terms of what we ask of them, the game plan and how we execute it. I think they have improved a lot and now we are getting results, which always helps with everything.”


“In the second half they were demanding of us with their crosses and I did not understand if in the action itself the referee didn't see it, or didn't see it as punishable, then later the decision was made that it was a penalty. 

Watching the replay it is clear that it is an action in which you could call a penalty, but it is very harsh. In the minute we were in, after the effort we had put in, it would have seemed cruel to me if Osasuna had equalised. It is a harsh penalty and I would have been quite angry if they had scored a goal from it, because we worked a lot for what the game required and it would have been a shame not to have managed to win.”


“He won't be fit in time for Saturday against Betis.”

The change between the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons

“It's incredible to describe what we experienced last year and what we are experiencing this year. Last year we suffered a lot, and in the final part of the season it was very hard seeing that we were close to the abyss.

Fortunately, we managed to get through it at the last, and us being where we are today, on the matchday we are in and seeing the response throughout the season has a lot of merit. At home we are competing well, but away from home it gives you that extra something it is normal for our fans to get excited and enjoy the moment. 

The fans have supported and shown love to the team throughout the season. They have done it from the beginning, they have believed in the team, in these young players, and now these players are leading us to believe that we can do important things.”

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