Djukic: Feghouli isn’t punished

Miroslav Djukic has explained that Sofiane Feghouli’s absence from the weekend squad is not a punishment, as he reflects on Valencia’s trip to Elche.

The midfielder was a late returnee from international duty this week and is not included in Los Che’s matchday squad to make the trip out to the Martinez Valero this week.

“He has not done enough to make the squad, but it is no punishment,” made clear Djukic to reporters today.

“The club have already confirmed this. He has not had enough days with the team. The player has had no choice. He has done what he had to do. We have thought about the willingness of the player.”

The Serb turned his attention to Sunday’s trip to local rivals Elche.

“I am content with how the team has worked in these two weeks. We have had a good intensity and I hope that it is translated on to the field.

“In any game, to win, you have to go out there with a good intensity and do things well. There is great equality in the League. We have to push from the start in the game.

“The Martinez Valero is a difficult field, Elche are a good team. They are well organised, hard-working, with a good counter-attack and they defend well.

“There will be a strong atmosphere but we are Valencia and will have to go for the game.

“It’s a derby and that makes it complicated. After two weeks away there can be uncertainty. I hope that we can play a good game and do things right as we need as soon as possible to build a run of victories. I see the team as good, but this must be reinforced with three points.

“We function much better as a team if we are strong in defence. We must be strong in concentration at the back. We have worked on defensive concepts to see that the team concede as few goals as possible.

“It is important to keep a clean sheet and it is not a question of replacing parts in the team but of mentality.”

Tags Djukic Feghouli