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Football | Spain

Ernesto Valverde © Reuters Images

Valverde named Valencia coach



New Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde's immediate objectives are to end the crisis at the club and to restore the confidence of the players, he said at his presentation on Monday.

The 48-year-old Spaniard was appointed earlier in the day as a replacement for Mauricio Pellegrino who was sacked on Saturday after a 5-2 home defeat by Real Sociedad left Valencia 12th in La Liga.

"It is the first time I have taken charge of a club mid-season and I consider it a tough task," Valverde told a news conference after agreeing a six-month deal.

"When a coach takes over in these circumstances it is because there is a crisis and pressure to get results quickly. The most immediate objective is to transmit my ideas to the team and for the players to gain in confidence."

Argentine Pellegrino's four-month reign came to an end after Valencia had conceded nine goals in two successive league defeats by Sociedad and Malaga.

"I have signed for six months because that is what they offered me," said Valverde. "I hope the team demonstrates enough that I will be able to stay for longer."

Valencia have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League and the King's Cup but have been inconsistent in La Liga where they have managed only five wins in 14 outings.

One of Valverde's main tasks will be to stamp his authority on a difficult squad.

DEMANDING CROWD

Remarks made by senior players like striker Roberto Soldado and midfielder David Albelda over the last two days have suggested the overall commitment to the cause was not what it should have been.

Valverde also has to win over a demanding Mestalla crowd who vented their frustrations on Saturday against president Manuel Llorente and the team, rather than popular former player Pellegrino.

Valencia have been forced to sell high-profile players like David Villa, Juan Mata, Jordi Alba and David Silva over the last three years in order to reduce crippling debts.

Valverde led Olympiakos Piraeus to a Greek league and cup double last season and has lots of experience in La Liga.

He has worked at Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol, the team he guided to the 2007 Uefa Cup final where they lost to Sevilla.

A first spell with Olympiakos yielded a league and cup double in 2009 and, after a failed six-month period spent with Villarreal the following year, he returned to Greece to win another league title before last season's repeat double.

Valverde said he would not travel with the team for their Champions League match at French club Lille on Wednesday.

His first game at the helm will be at Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday.

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