Ricardo Costa has explained why he sees Valencia as greatly improved under Ernesto Valverde, albeit in refusing to criticise predecessor Mauricio Pellegrino.
Pellegrino was fired at the start of December and replaced by Valverde, who has won four of his opening five games in charge, including beginning with three consecutive clean sheets for a team much-criticised for some loose defending previous.
“It’s a different philosophy, every Coach has his style of play, his philosophy of seeing football and how he wants his team to play,” Portuguese centre-back Costa told Superdeporte today, reiterating a message from Jonas yesterday.
“With Valverde, he has changed the team’s personality and attitude on the field, the philosophy of play, the pressure and we play more together.
“Now there are some guidelines on things such as knowing when we have to pressurise or pull back, these are important things and where the team have improved. We are slowly improving, we can push teams for longer.”
The defender was asked of Andres Guardado’s trial at wing-back and took it as an example of how things have changed in training.
“It is part of the work that we have done with the Coach, all the players have gone through these positions and know that there are rules and defensive moves that we have to do.
“If we work in training, then in games we can play more comfortably and more relaxed, so you are not aware if you are playing more or less in attack.
“Was the change in Coach necessary then? I will not go there, after the match against Bayern Munich we were the best in the world. And three days later we were a disgrace.
“In football there are injustices, because everything depends on the results, how the players are or a particular moment in a game.
“We have had games where we have played very badly, players at Valencia cannot go to Malaga and lose by four goals to nil, or concede five goals at home to Real Sociedad. That can never happen. Once, maybe, because you are thinking about the Champions League, but not twice.
“After the match against Real, the President wanted to do something, because the fans were ashamed and it was a hard time for the players, and remains in our memories.
“We went on a streak were everything we did went wrong and we have to give support to the President when he decides to change the Coach. We then went to Pamplona and the results changed [consecutive League and Cup wins over Osasuna], football is results.”