Gary Neville has warned his Valencia players to avoid Atletico Madrid’s “trap” when the two sides lock horns at Mestalla on Sunday.
Los Che returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Malaga midweek – their fourth in five games – but the Coach made no secret of his admiration for his side’s next opponents, whom he compared to Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan and Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool.
“[Atleti] have been a great team for the last three seasons, but Mestalla is a difficult place for any team to play,” he said at a Press conference.
“We fought and clawed [the game back] against Malaga, and we have to show that commitment against Atleti.
“We did a great job defensively [against Malaga]. We defended man to man, one on one.
“Atleti apply a lot of pressure, so we have to show the resistance we showed against Malaga.
“I think every time you see Atleti play, you know it’s going to be a battle.
“I want to think that teams also expect battles against Valencia.
“They are compact, aggressive, very quick and very strong. They’re not new type of team, there’s already been others as Sacchi’s Milan and Benitez’s Liverpool.
“Villarreal play in very similar way. It’s a way of playing which has brought success.
“[Atleti] force you to play in a certain way, but we mustn’t fall into their trap.
“[Diego Simeone] has done phenomenally well in recent years.
“His management style reflects his character and encourages his players to do the same on the pitch.
“He’s achieved great things and done very well in recent years, but we’ll make things very difficult for them.”