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VALENCIA

Marcelino's Valencia job on the line against Valladolid

Marcelino, en El Molinón.

ELOY ALONSO

DIARIO AS

After Sporting's Copa del Rey victory in El Molinón the Mestalla boss is under scrutiny and may have just one game to secure his place in the dugout.

Valencia boss Marcelino is under huge pressure after his side’s 2-1 Copa del Rey loss to Segunda División side Sporting on Tuesday night and a long night of talks between Mestalla and the Liga club’s Singapore owners produced a decision that places the coach’s job on the line.

While Valencia director general Mateu Alemany is due to hold a press conference at 12:30 on Thursday to hand Marcelino a board-sanctioned vote of confidence, off the record the club’s financiers have already put a timeline on the manager’s continued employment at Mestalla: 90 minutes, against Valladolid on Saturday at 16:15. All the signs are that something extremely unlikely will have to occur for Marcelino to retain his post if Valencia do not beat the visiting side.

Marcelino's fate to be decided on Saturday against Valladolid

The 53-year-old, who sparked Valencia’s renaissance last season and led the side to the Champions League, has not been able to reproduce that magic in 2018-19 with the club in 12th in LaLiga and out of the Champions League in the group stage. Alemany stated before the winter break that Marcelino would “stay, stay and stay” at Mestalla but since then Los Che have managed only one win, against 20th-placed Huesca at home with a winning goal in the final minute of the game, and two losses against Alavés and Sporting.

Sources at the club have stated that “as yet the managerial market has not been looked at,” leaving that eventuality until after the event. But following the loss to a side a division below and a record of four wins in LaLiga this season, time is running out for Marcelino and the visit of Valladolid has taken on a season-defining shape for Valencia.