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Koeman confident of Valencia quality

Two new coaches will be in charge when Valencia CF tackle Rosenborg BK looking to transform a tricky UEFA Champions League position into qualification success.

An upbeat Ronald Koeman takes charge of Valencia CF for the first time at home to Rosenborg BK – promising only small changes to a team which, he believes, possess enough quality to transform a difficult UEFA Champions League situation into a successful qualifying quest.

The Dutchman has the continent's biggest club competition as the stage for his first-night production, having resigned as PSV Eindhoven boss to succeed Quique Sánchez Flores. It was Valencia's 2-0 defeat at Rosenborg two weeks ago, swiftly followed by a demoralising reverse at Sevilla FC, that spelled the end for Flores and ushered in the new regime. Koeman only arrived in Spain last Friday and time has been against him. But in his favour is the revitalising nature of Saturday's 2-0 victory over RCD Mallorca.

Victory imperative
"I've told the players that they don't have to change much because that result has given them more security than they had before," said Koeman, who added that their third-place position in Group B, a point behind their visitors, makes victory imperative: "We have spoken about what we think are the most important things, and we've been preparing our tactics and our mentality. We are playing at home, and at home Valencia have to win."

Koeman will demand a lot from his new charges yet is happy to see them take control once the first whistle blows. "As a player I liked to be comfortable on the pitch and together we have to agree on a system of play," he said. "During the match I like the players to be in charge. It's important to have leaders, both on the pitch and in the club." Although Santiago Cañizares, Carlos Marchena and Rubén Baraja remain sidelined, with Alexis joining them on the injury list at the weekend, David Villa's return from an ankle problem is a boost. But the Spanish international is not the only ace in the Valencia pack. "We have quality in midfield and also lots of quality in front of goal," Koeman continued. "We also have to play as a team. I'm looking for balance."

Fifth spot
Remarkably, Rosenborg are under new management too, with Trond Henriksen replacing Knut Tørum who left the day after masterminding the Valencia victory. "We surprised Valencia and we have improved since then, but they will be more alert now and it will be a more difficult game," said Henriksen, whose side ended a disappointing Tippeligaen campaign in fifth spot following a 2-1 weekend win at Aalesunds FK – a success achieved without Roar Strand (leg injury), Vidar Riseth (flu) and Mikael Dorsin (back).

'Come to win'
"Valencia are one of the best home sides in Europe so to get a point here wouldn't be bad, but we have come to win," added Henriksen, who had been assisting Tørum before taking the helm. "They said when the draw was made that this was the toughest group, and after three matches we have only had half a bad match [at home against FC Schalke 04]. We have two away games now and we are trying to see if there's a chance to progress from the group."