Pran­delli preaches ‘team men­tal­ity’ as so­lu­tion for Va­len­cia

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

New Va­len­cia coach Ce­sare Pran­delli be­lieves he can put the Span­ish club back on track by get­ting the play­ers to buy into a “team men­tal­ity.”

The for­mer Italy coach was of­fi­cially in­tro­duced to fans and the me­dia yes­ter­day, a day af­ter Va­len­cia’s 2-0 home loss to Span­ish league leader Atletico Madrid.

“If we can in­still a team men­tal­ity in the play­ers, this side can im­prove a lot,” he said. “The play­ers should feel re­spon­si­ble for the club they rep­re­sent, and the fans as well. This is very im­por­tant for the team. Our goal is to con­vey the val­ues of the club to the play­ers, val­ues of a club with great suc­cess.”

The 59-year-old Pran­delli, who signed a con­tract through June 2018, is Va­len­cia’s eighth full­time man­ager since Unai Emery’s four-year stint ended in 2012. Pran­delli is re­plac­ing Pako Ayestaran, who was fired re­cently af­ter the team lost the first four matches of the sea­son. The team was being led by in­terim coach Sal­vador “Voro” Gon­za­lez.

“I am op­ti­mistic be­cause there is a good base here, a team with a lot of ca­pa­bil­ity for im­prove­ment and a very good men­tal­ity,” Pran­delli said. “What I also like is that the Va­len­cia CF project is an at­trac­tive one with a Va­len­cian men­tal­ity.”

The loss to Atletico dropped Va­len­cia into the rel­e­ga­tion zone with six points af­ter seven matches.

Owned by Sin­ga­pore in­vestor Peter Lim since 2014, Va­len­cia is the last team other than Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico to win the league ti­tle, in 2004.

Pran­delli, who coached Italy from 2010-14, met with Lim in Sin­ga­pore be­fore being hired.

“It was a very in­ter­est­ing meet­ing,” Pran­delli said. “He is a busi­ness­man who seems as if he is far away, but he is not. He is com­mit­ted to a long-term project. When a busi­ness­man of his stand­ing puts to­gether a longterm project in foot­ball, the thing that should mat­ter is the Cham­pi­ons League. I do not know if it will come in six months, one year, two years or more, but the idea is al­ways to get back into the Cham­pi­ons League.”

Va­len­cia re­sumes play­ing af­ter the in­ter­na­tional break in two weeks. It will play at Sport­ing Gi­jon, which is just two spots ahead in the standings.

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