Jeremy Mathieu says Valencia must beat teams like Deportivo de La Coruna if they are to be near the top at the end of the season.
Los Che drew 3-3 with Depor after throwing away a two-goal lead at Mestalla two weeks ago and Mathieu believes it is against the lesser lights that Mauricio Pellegrino’s men must be on their guard.
“We know it’s going to be difficult in La Liga because of Barcelona and Real Madrid but against teams like Depor we must never allow them back into the game.
“We should always beat them and never let them come back as they did at Mestalla,” the French international told AS.
Left-back Mathieu is currently sidelined with an Achilles tendon injury and thinks he may be struggling to be fully fit for next week’s home game with Celta Vigo and the opening Champions League group game at Bayern Munich.
“When I’m running it’s difficult to support my foot and although it allows me to play I’m not at 100 per cent, more like half that.
“I think it may be difficult to make the Celta game and then the Bayern match but I’ve had this injury since the end of last season.
“I felt it in the semi-final [of the Europa League] against Atletico Madrid and it gives me a lot of pain, but it needs to be sorted out as my game requires me to play at the maximum level,” he explained.