Marcelino Garcia Toral spoke to the media ahead of this weekend’s LaLiga clash against Deportivo Alaves, at the club’s Media Center in Paterna.
“We’ve had an important setback due to Coquelin’s injury. A movement in training has injured his Achilles tendon. It is a big injury and it will see us miss an important player, he has shown that on both a human and professional level that he has adapted to the group brilliantly and he was playing at a high level. We’re really sad for him and we hope that he will get back fit soon. That’s what we want already and I am sure that it will happen. He is a very strong player and he’ll be back soon. I don’t know how long he will be out for, it needs to be seen whether the injury is severe or not, but with more information we will be able to estimate how long he will be out for.
“It was from turning quickly. It was his right leg, as I’m half deaf I didn’t hear it but they said that they heard a noise like a twig snapping and then he felt as though he was in trouble. He looked as though something really bad had happened. It is a shame that when he is playing so well, and by doing something so normal in training, that he can get an injury like this. But these are things that happen, with everyone’s support he will come back soon.”
“The staff are always pleased to be coaching international players. From my point of view, I think that his call up is deserved for a fantastic season for Dani. From the very start his performance levels have been very high and we are all happy for him. Rodrigo is with the national team again, down to his hard work. Both of these players and some others have been left out without deserving to be, and thanks to their hard work they’ve got the chance to pull on their country’s colours. I hope that in the future there will be more who do. They have worked hard for it and they are reaping the rewards.”
Kondogbia’s absence for France
“Kondogbia didn’t only play brilliantly against Sevilla, but he has had a lot of excellent games throughout the entire season. He is a key player for us, he is important for how we play and although I don’t follow how the other French midfielders are getting on, recently I don’t think that some of them would be close to how Kondogbia is playing. We saw Pogba play against Sevilla and then Kondogbia against the same opponent and there isn’t any kind of comparison to be made. As always, however, I have total respect for the national team managers and as Valencia CF boss I am happy that he is here with us.”
Will such news distract the group?
“The Coquelin news is a big blow for the group and it could affect us. The positive news, however, it is always welcome and it will raise morale. I am a little worried about all of the euphoria because we can’t think that we are a Champions League team already when we aren’t yet. We have to calm this down and focus on our game, to respect Alaves, an opponent who have always been tough to face. It is important to win again after our great victory against Sevilla and to not get distracted. If we think we are playing against a small team, we won’t concentrate and that worries me. We still haven’t hit our target and we only will if we beat Alaves and win our following games between now and the end of the season.”
What do you make of Alaves?
“I expect them to be a tough opponent. Since the arrival of Abelardo they’ve been doing extraordinarily. In the second half of the season they’ve picked up just three points less than we have. They are a team who are good on the break, they are very organised and they will cause us problems in attack and on the break. I think that we have to be at our best to do well in this game. We will be expected to compete at a high level. I ask for the support of the fans to help us keep picking up points to get to the dream of playing in the Champions League next season. I would like to be able to say that we have got fourth place secured and then we can think about third place.”
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