Valencia were held to a sluggish 0-0 draw yesterday ahead of their Europa League trip to Glasgow to face Celtic and manager Marcelino admitted his side’s hectic schedule had taken its toll, writes Mark Walker.
Celtic’s opponents on Thursday looked leggy and weary yesterday as they had to settle for a goalless La Liga draw with Real Sociedad in the Mestalla.
Marcelino conceded that their recent run of matches, which included a Copa del Rey semi-final on Thursday, had had a big impact on his players.
“When you play a game less than 72 hours after your last one, then it is very obvious you are going to be tired,” said the Valencia manager.
“But we still had a few good chances in the second half and still could have won, although I accept Real Sociedad were better in the first half.
“We now only have another three days before we have to play Celtic and that will be another exhausting game for the players.
“I would have preferred to give some of my players a rest for the game in Scotland, but that is not possible. We now we face a very difficult match in Glasgow and we need our best players for it.”
Valencia had been in fine scoring form with ten goals in their last four games, but they drew a blank against Sociedad and there was little for watching Celtic scouts to be overly concerned about.
This was their third draw in a row and Sociedad proved yesterday Valencia will give Celtic chances, although the visitors didn’t take them.
Valencia received a huge boost when star man Gonaclo Guedes came on as a second-half substitute. The former PSG and Benfica winger had been missing for three months with a groin injury and provided the most assists for Valencia last season.
“I would like to have given him more time, but circumstances meant we could only give him 15 minutes, but you saw what he could do even in that time,” said Marcelino about the Portuguese player. “And now he will get more game time in future matches.”