Last night's El Larguero programme was broadcast live from an eerily silent Mestalla with Valencia coach Marcelino and General Director Mateo Alemany as Manu Carreño's guests in the centre circle, where Sunday's crunch meeting with Barcelona will get underway. Marcelino's team go into the game just four points behind the leaders - and both are the only two unbeaten sides left in the division.
Marcelino serving a two-match ban
The Valencia coach was undaunted about taking on the blaugranas: “We can can beat Barça and that's what we'll be setting out to do”, he began. “We don't have any other objective right now - only our next game”. Marcelino won't be in the home dug-out on Sunday - the RFEF's Appeals Committee rejected Valencia's attempted to get the coach's two-match suspension overturned and he will watch the game from the stands. “These things happen, I don't think it will make that much difference whether I am on the bench or not”, he explained.
Valencia must take each game as it comes, says the coach
“We've got to make a distinction between the euphoria which our fans are experiencing and the team's objectives", Marcelino continued. "The feeling I get within our squad is a sense of humility and an understanding that becoming league champions is very, very, very difficult, because there are two giant clubs who we need to get past. That's why our only aim is to take one game at a time. We were convinced that we could build a good team here at Valencia, but I think we've all been taken by surprise at how well the lads are doing”.