Rodrigo: "I didn't come here because of any backslapping"
The Valencia forward sat down to pick apart the reasons behind the team's crisis in the company of Diario AS. "We, the players, are the ones who are responsible".
What's gone wrong?
Rodrigo Moreno is willing to discuss whys and wherefores behind the tense situation which Valencia are going through. He accepts the criticism the team has been getting but is quick to point out that as a footballer, he doesn't represent Peter Lim, only Valencia CF. Speaking to AS this week, Rodrigo says he believes unity will haul the team out of their position while admitting that they could well spend the Christmas break mired in the relegation places.
The fact that some members of the squad are prepared speak out openly about the team's crisis shows a sense of self criticism...
We are not going to find a solution to our situation but running away and hiding or sneering at people. We have to identify the things we are doing badly and correct them. We need the humility to recognize the situation we are in, and the strength to pull ourselves out of it.
What is the situation?
Right now we are very close to the relegation places, we are not having a good season, and we have only just come through a poor season... That factor is important because we thought that things would be calm again this year, but we are in the same dynamic, in the same atmosphere...
Have the players accepted that now, the first objcetyive is to fight to ensure that Valencia don't get relegated?
I think we have to to try to put aside all of the things which have happened - in the way that we don't consider it a weight on us. But we also need to be aware that we are in the bottom part of the table and that means relegation is a reality.
The team's taken 12 points from a possible 42. There must be several things that are going wrong...
Independently of bad luck, bad refereeing decisions... the main ones who are responsible for all of this is us, the players. We have to take on board that we haven't been doing our job well. We have to assume the responsability to turn this around.
Can you understand how frustrating this must people for the fans?
I'm not suprised they are feeling frustrated and angry - it's normal, and that they don't fully understand what's going on. Football isn't like: ‘Practice more, and things will work out’. It doesn't really work that way; but there is no other way of working to get ourselves out of this, we need to have belief in the coach's ideas and be united. We need more attitude, more attention to details...
It's complicated and I'm sure it's not nice for them. But only three years ago we were one of the best Valencia sides they will have seen, registering the most points we have ever recorded in LaLiga - not enough to win the league, obviously. But that season was difficult too, for the atmosphere.
What are your thoughts on the criticism which is being directed at Peter Lim?
When things go wrong, people will always look for someone to blame and everyone, whatever side they might be on, will find somebody to point the finger at. And when things go well, all of that goes unnoticed. That's how football works and especially at Valencia because it's such an historic club on a national level and within Europe.
I can understand someone is going to carry the blame and if that turns out to be me, then so be it. But what I won't do is run away from my responsibilities to Valencia. I don't represent Meriton or Peter Lim, I represent Valencia. It's a shame that other people see it in a different way. I didn't join this club following a bit of backslapping and being chummy with anyone.
Personal performances count for nothing if we are not getting results. I don't think I am having a great season but I am trying to bring something to the team. Whether I am scoring or not, I have felt an important member of the side in some games but I know I can give more, and between all of us we can take this forward. Even if I start scoring lots of goals, it won't change anything unless we start winning. It's not going to be me saving Valencia all on my own - or Joao, or Mangala, or Alves... It will be all of us.