Gary Neville has revealed that he plans to build his Valencia team around Alvaro Negredo as he prepares for his La Liga debut on Sunday against Eibar.
The former Manchester City man was immediately recalled by the Englishman for Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Lyon in the Champions League after three months in the wilderness, and his new boss is determined to help him regain the form which made him “the perfect striker in the Premier League”.
“[Negredo] was the perfect striker in the Premier League and I see no reason for him not to go back to that level,” he said at a Press conference.
“He must gradually and sensibly recover after three months of not playing.
“Alvaro is getting stronger, but he knows it’s a long process and that he’s some way from peak condition.
“We’ll go slowly, 25, 30 or 35 minutes at a time, but I have confidence in him because he’s very good player and is an important part of the team.
“I hope you’ve already seen some of my ideas, but we have games every three days and we’re not able to train too often.
“I’ve seen Eibar play and they’ll pose a very important challenge. It’s a mental and physical test for our competitiveness.
“[On Andre Gomes’ returning], the players who have come back give us freshness, although injuries aren’t an excuses.
“It is an excuse injured. I feel happier when I see players return. Andre Gomes will play from the beginning.
“There have been ups and downs in the League and that’s why I’m here.
“We need points in the League and must be ready for these games, but the players are fired up.
“There are many aspects to work and improve on, but the most exciting thing this week has been seeing our talented youngsters in action.
“They are like sponges which want to learn. You have to give them information gradually, in small steps from the ground up.
“Overall, I’m more excited about the players I have than I was last week.”