Neville asks Valencia to give Lyon hostile welcome
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Gary Neville said he wants "Mestalla to be a horrible place for other teams" as he prepares to lead out Valencia for the first time, with victory required against Lyon.
Article top media content
- Gary Neville to take charge of Valencia for the first time
- Neville says Wednesday will be "the first day of the rest of my life"
- Valencia need to win and hope Gent do not beat Zenit to make last 16
- Lyon certain to finish bottom of Group H
- Lyon coach Herbert Fournier determined to make life difficult for Valencia
Valencia: Doménech; Cancelo, Mustafi, Abdennour, Gayá; Parejo, Danilo, Enzo Pérez, Santi Mina; Rodrigo de Paul, Paco Alcácer.
Out: Diego Alves (knee), Barragán (hamstring), Feghouli (foot), Gomes (calf), Orban (calf), Rodrigo (knee), Vezo (suspended)
Lyon: Lopes; Bedimo, Biševac, Koné, Morel; Tolisso, Gonalons, Darder, Grenier; Lacazette, Beauvue.
Out: Fekir (knee), Ferri (suspended), Fofana (ankle), Christophe Jallet (rib), Kalulu (ankle), Umtiti (thigh), Valbuena (thigh)
Gary Neville, Valencia coach
I spoke with the players on Monday morning for about 15 to 20 minutes. I explained to them that every single player has an opportunity to play – I don't treat any of them differently. There is a fascination now with the style of play – possession and counterattack – but can't we play both? I believe in both. I want Mestalla to be a horrible place for all other teams.
Someone told me that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm focused on staying calm. It is impossible to get all your ideas through to your players within 48 hours. We have to keep it simple and we have been working on very basic things. I don't feel anxious. Maybe as a player I did, but as a coach I don't feel like that, I feel relaxed. I am in work mode.
Hubert Fournier, Lyon coach
I expect to see a different Valencia side than the one who played against Barcelona on Saturday. I will be a minor challenge for them, but if they want to progress to the next round they have to be able to do face that challenge.
We have been stuck in a negative spiral so every game is an opportunity to improve our situation and show the face of a team that is aware of their situation. A game against a team who just managed to get a draw against Barcelona is a good opportunity for us to show a different face than we have shown lately.
Valencia 1-1 Barcelona (Santi Mina 86; Suárez 59)
A first Valencia goal from Santi Mina – two days before his 20th birthday – earned a morale-boosting draw against the Liga leaders. Voro was in charge of Valencia as caretaker, with Neville now taking permanent command of the team.
Lyon 0-2 Angers (Cheikh Ndoye 17,81)
Lyon are without a win in five games (D1 L4), with promoted Angers following up their 0-0 draw against Paris Saint-Germain with another great result against one of France's top sides.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Reporter's view: Graham Hunter
The talking is over. Neville's arrival has been one of the world's top sports stories since last week's announcement and, as composed as he is under the spotlight, the former England defender will nonetheless be delighted kick-off is approaching. The language barrier notwithstanding, we can be sure every one of his players will have been told to show intensity and enjoy the occasion.
Did you know?
Valencia beat Lyon twice in the 2000/01 first group stage; find out more in our match background.