Simone Zaza admits he was “annoyed” about not starting the derby against Levante but insists rumours of a bust-up with Coach Marcelino “are all lies.”
Zaza returned to Valencia’s starting XI for the visit of Malaga on Tuesday and marked the occasion with an eight-minute hat-trick in a 5-0 victory, thereby becoming the fourth Italian to achieve such a feat in La Liga.
“Anger when celebrating my hat-trick? I’ve forgotten about what happened on Saturday. It’s normal that you get annoyed when you don’t play,” the striker said after the game.
“The only thing I shouldn’t have done was not salute the fans [after Levante], but I have nothing against them.
“It was the same thing against Madrid, when I missed my last chance. I have to improve on these things, but I have no problem with the Coach.
“The things that have come out in the last few days are all lies. I’m fine and I’m happy about playing well, but if I score then it’s better for myself, the team and everyone.
“I want to stay here and play, and it’s normal that I have to train hard.
“I have two teammates and friends [Rodrigo and Santi Mina], who are playing for the same position as me. I’ll leave the controversy to you [reporters].
“We have to keep going like this. We mustn’t listen to what people say, the fans will help us this season.
“My objective? To score as many goals as possible, but the important thing is to score winning goals.
“I don’t know how many I’ll score, but I want to score more than I did last season.
“Message to the fans? I have nothing to say to the Coach. The fans have supported me since my first day here, after my bad spell.
“When I hear my name, when I score a goal, when I see the faces of the fans… I want to keep going like this.”