Alvaro Negredo admitted to mixed feelings after he returned to the Valencia fold in a defeat that saw the club exit the Champions League.
Los Che lost at home to Lyon in Gary Neville’s first game on the bench and the first involvement of Negredo since early October, after he lost the faith of Neville’s predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo after an interview in which it was felt he questioned the trainer.
“It was bittersweet. I really wanted to come back, I wasn’t able to help the team, and to concede the first goal was a blow,” Negredo said, Super Deporte reports.
“The game against Barcelona last Saturday could have been a factor and knowing that we didn’t only depend on ourselves, but the truth is we haven’t deserved it on our own merits.
“I felt I was lacking in rhythm. Now I have to gradually get back into shape. I don’t think I criticised the previous Coach, I simply said what I saw from my position.
“I have a clear conscience. I kept training, as my teammates have said. I always said I wanted to stay, to forget the past and focus on what’s to come.”
Negredo was asked about the arrival of Neville and how the former Manchester United and England defender has conducted himself since he was appointed.
“The translator said at half time what Gary wanted us to do. We had clear ideas but the counter-attack killed us, although we knew they had this weapon,” Negredo revealed.
“Gary hasn’t even been here a week. We’ll learn what he wants and everybody wants to go in the same direction.”
Negredo admitted however that not reaching the Champions League knockout rounds falls short of what is expected of Valencia, but hopes the Europa League brings greater success.
“It’s a failure, yes. The goal was to progress from the group stage. We’re still in three competitions and we’ll fight for the Europa League, we’ll work on the next game and we’ll fight for the Copa del Rey,” he vowed.
“I’m sorry for the fans. We wanted to go through. We’ll try to change things, because there have been a lot of changes and that’s not beneficial, but we have to give value to the Europa League.”