Copa del Rey Semifinal: Neville confident Valencia can compete at Camp Nou
Gary Neville is adamant Valencia can compete at Barcelona, despite the fact they have gone 11 games without a win in La Liga.
The former Manchester United player has been charge of eight of those matches, with Sunday’s loss to Sporting Gijon ending a 22-game unbeaten run at Mestalla in the league.
Barça had been the last team to win there, with Sergio Busquets’ late goal sealing three points in November of 2014.
Neville feels that Valencia have been lacking luck on the pitch, although he did admit they’ve had some fortune on their way to Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final.
“We aboslutely have to compete [at Barcelona],” he said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“Good fortune has been with us in the Copa in my time here, but it’s deserted us in the league, especially on Sunday.
“We have had good performances, though. I agree that the performance against Barça a few weeks ago was determined, we were competitive, and we need to take those qualities to Camp Nou.
“It’s a big stage, a big game, and we need to come back to Mestalla still in the tie.”
The 40-year-old used recent draws against Luis Enrique’s side and Real Madrid as an example that Los Che can compete with Europe’s biggest sides.
“The two games against Barça and Real Madrid over the last five, six weeks [are examples] if you want belief, convincing the players [are up to it],” he added.
“This type of game is made for our players, they’ve shown that against Barça and Madrid, they have thrived on the challenge, risen to the challenge.
“In those two performances there is enough evidence to suggest we will be competitive at Camp Nou.
“But we understand the difficulty of the opponent, so do you, but my players are made for this game.”
On returning to the scene where he won the Champions League in 1999 as a player, he added: “It was my Greatest moment in football, to play [at Camp Nou] and win the Champions League final in the last minute.”
Barcelona will entertain Valencia today at Camp Nou by 9pm.