Marcelino was delighted with the ‘breath of fresh air’ Santi Mina gave Valencia as his brace beat Young Boys in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Valencia’s strikers had been misfiring and Mina had been struggling with a knee injury, until he returned last week to score twice in the Copa del Rey and followed up with two more in a 3-1 victory over Young Boys.
The result kept Los Che just two points behind Manchester United in Group H with just as many games left to overthrow the second-placed Red Devils.
“We’re happy with the win, which was essential to keep going in the Champions League,” Marcelino said after the game.
“I felt comforted by the game. We had more efficiency and turned our chances into goals.
“Getting ahead on the scoreboard makes things easier. It’s wonderful to see the players laugh together.
“Mina’s a player who was in great form last season. He started it by playing, then he got injured and came back with more strength.
The goals hadn’t been coming from the strikers, so it’s a breath of fresh air with hard work and ambition.
“We’re all hungry and we want to win, but we’ve been suffering too much. We have to look forward and see who’s in better shape.
“We’ve given continuity to his work. He plays for the team and not himself. We’ll try to be fair to him.”
Valencia 3-1 Young Boys
Santi Mina 14, 42, Soler 56 (V) Assale 37, Sanogo sent off 77 (YB)
Valencia: Neto; Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya; Soler, Coquelin, Kondogbia (Vezo 87), Guedes (Ferran 75); Rodrigo, Santi Mina (Gameiro 68)
Young Boys: Von Ballmoos; Mbabu, Lauper, Von Bergen, Benito; Fassnacht (Nsame 61), Sow, Sanogo, Ngamaleu (Sulejmani 46); Hoarau (Aebischer 75), Assale
Referee: Kovacs (ROM)