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4
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Gary Neville insists Valencia have 'no excuses' against Las Palmas

Valencia coach Gary Neville says his side have "no excuses" ahead of Thursday's Copa del Rey quarterfinal second leg at Las Palmas.

Valencia have not won any of Neville's first seven La Liga games in charge of the Mestalla club, as he settled into his first senior managerial job.

Last week's 1-1 first leg draw was another set-back for Los Che, and means the tie is evenly balanced. Although Las Palmas sit 19th in La Liga, they have only lost two of their past nine games at home at the Estadio de Gran Canaria.

The former Manchester United defender told his pregame news conference that he would send his team out with a positive mentality and look to win the game and qualify for the last four of the competition.

"It's a final, it's a game that obviously we need to go and win," Neville said. "Our mentality has got to be positive, to go and score goals. We know exactly what we need to do, we have no excuses, just two players missing now. We have to find a way to win the game.

"In a cup game all that matters is the result, tomorrow night is not about performance, it's about making sure we come out on top. We know the fans want this badly, we want this badly, we want to prove we can deliver a result away from home in the Copa del Rey. We need to take our chances, and turn performances into results."

Gary Neville has yet to win in any of his first seven La Liga games since taking over at Valencia.

Alvaro Negredo's 94th-minute equaliser in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Deportivo La Coruna was hopefully a turning point that would set Valencia on a more positive trajectory, Neville said.

"It felt like an important moment in the last minute on Sunday," he said. "The celebration of the draw does not feel like something we should be doing. But I feel that sometimes moments in football feel more important than the actual result.

"When the fourth official holds the board up, with four minutes ago, you are just hoping to get something. We did not deserve to lose the game, and that last moment was important for the positive feeling it gave the dressing room. But we need to take that into tomorrow's game."

Another 1-1 draw on Thursday night would see the tie decided by penalties and Neville, who was eliminated on penalties on four separate occasions as a player with England, admitted that his players said they would be prepared should spot-kicks be needed.

"Players have practised penalties at training most days since I came here," Neville said. "It is something they do naturally at the end of training. You have to be prepared for every eventuality. It is something we have discussed. You have to be adaptable as you don't know which players will be there at the end, but we will be aware of who the potential penalty takers are."

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