Neville impressed by Valencia's fightback in draw

Youngsters off to Valencia: Seventeen young Singapore footballers - nine of them recipients of the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship - and four coaches are heading to Spanish club Valencia, where they will take part in a training cam
Youngsters off to Valencia: Seventeen young Singapore footballers - nine of them recipients of the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship - and four coaches are heading to Spanish club Valencia, where they will take part in a training camp at the club's GloVal Academy. The camp will kick off today and end on Monday. PHOTO: SINGAPORE OLYMPIC FOUNDATION

MADRID • Valencia's new manager Gary Neville was impressed by his team's fighting spirit in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Eibar when the former England defender watched them fight back from a goal down with 10 men.

Appointed this month to replace Nuno Espirito Santo, Neville has yet to record his first win. He presided over a 2-0 defeat at home by Lyon, which ended Valencia's Champions League participation, before the stalemate at modest Eibar in his La Liga debut.

Eibar took a well-deserved lead shortly after half-time and Valencia had Lucas Orban sent off midway through the second period when the defender conceded a penalty.

Goalkeeper Jaume Domenech brilliantly saved Saul Berjon's effort and the visitors levelled five minutes from time when the ball ricocheted in off defender David Junca.

Valencia have been depleted in recent weeks by injuries and suspensions and Neville said the battling draw could build confidence as the team try to climb up the table and progress in the Europa League.

They are eighth in La Liga - seven points off the top four.

"I have only had three training sessions with the team, you have a limited time to show what you want to do," Neville, who has a contract with the Singapore-owned club until the end of the season, told a news conference.

"What we saw in the final 20 minutes is the minimum (that) Valencia should be in every match and that makes me proud," added the former Manchester United defender.

"I think that the Valencia fans who watched the match on the television or here at the stadium would have gone away feeling proud of the team's commitment.

"We wanted to win, obviously. The draw is not ideal but I think that given the circumstances a draw is positive."

Neville hinted that Valencia, who are backed by billionaire owner Peter Lim, are unlikely to bring any players in during the January transfer window.

"I am just focusing on the players we have and the ones who are injured," he said.

"We have a lot of players and what we have to achieve is that the youngsters develop, and experiences like today are fundamental in their progress.

"One of the best things you have in Spain is that you are bringing players through from the youth ranks and I am not going to destroy that."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2015, with the headline 'Neville impressed by Valencia's fightback in draw'. Print Edition | Subscribe