Champions League news: Valencia players refuse to attend press conference ahead of Chelsea match

goal.com, Mon 16 Sep, 23:04
There is still tension at the Spanish club ahead of their European campaign because of the dismissal of their previous coach

Valencia boss Albert Celades was forced to attend the club's Champions League press conference without any of his players after they chose to boycott the media event because of the sacking of their previous coach.

The La Liga side axed manager Marcelino last week despite the Brazilian leading the club to the Copa Del Rey trophy and Champions League qualification during the prior season.

Celedes, who was previously an assistant at Real Madrid, was installed into the role for last weekend's league match against Barcelona, which the club lost 5-2.

Ahead of Tuesday's Champions League opener against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Celades admitted the player boycott of media wasn't 'ideal', but insisted they will be primed to compete in coming matches.

"Obviously it’s not an ideal situation but it’s the players’ decision, really. I don’t have much more to say about that," Celades said. "There isn’t anything I can do about it.

"I speak to the players every day. They took this decision but there is always dialogue. The reaction I’ve had has been very good and I’m sure it will continue to improve.

"The spirit is very good. (Tuesday) is the start of the best club competition in Europe and that is ample motivation for the players to give their best.

"They want to play, taste the atmosphere. and be in the starting XI. No-one wants to miss out and that, for me, is the most important thing."

Controversy has surrounded the dismissal of Marcelino, who has suggested he was relieved of his duties because he won the Copa Del Rey last season instead of focusing on making the Champions League, which they ironically qualified for anyway.

Their first match in the competition comes against the Blues, who have impressed in the Premier League with Frank Lampard and are coming off a 5-2 win against Wolves.

Celades was aware of the task faced by his players, but he believes they can cause issues for the English club and force a result away from home.

"It will be a big challenge but a fascinating one too. We’re sure they can cause us a lot of problems," he said.

"We’re going to prepare for the game in the best way possible and try to get a result."

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