Facing Barcelona in the Copa del Rey isn’t exactly the draw he was hoping for, but Valencia coach Gary Neville admits he “can’t wait” for the first leg on Wednesday.
Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for Neville in the league so far as he is without a win in his eight La Liga matches as Valencia boss. His side have dropped to 12th in the standings and are now just five points off the relegation zone after a 1-0 defeat at home against Sporting Gijon over the weekend.
The loss was Valencia’s first at the Mestalla in the league since November 2014.
On the upside they have reached the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey after seeing off Las Palmas in the previous round, but the bad news is they have been paired with defending champions Barcelona.
The opening match of the tie takes place at Camp Nou and Neville is excited about the game despite his team’s struggles.
“I can’t wait for Wednesday night, and I think the players will be the same,” he said.
“These are the moments you live for as a coach, as a player. By Tuesday we’ll have a full complement of players, Paco (Alcacer) is looking good, back running again, and I don’t think we’ve picked up injuries.”
Neville’s contract runs until the end of the current season and there has been suggestions that he could be fired because of their poor form in the league, but he is having none of that.
“You’re asking me about my position. I find this question ridiculous,” he said.
“It’s from you, don’t put this onto the fans.”