Valencia coach Gary Neville dismisses training ground row reports
Valencia coach Gary Neville has played down a training-ground row between his players on Monday, saying that such reporting is not a positive for his team.
Los Che goalkeeper Alves and defender Vezo clashed during a behind closed doors training session, with local TV managing to pick up pictures that apparently showed the pair having to be separated by their teammates.
The former Manchester United defender told his news conference ahead of Wednesday's game at Malaga that he was confident the incident would have no effect on team morale.
"That will not affect the group," Neville said. "There can be arguments or fights, but I have seen worse rows at home with my five-year-old daughter. Things like that happen three or four times a week. It was over in about five seconds. I'm disappointed it has come out like this as it harms Valencia -- the team and the fans. That is why I have asked for more privacy at the training ground."
Neville's team had won four games in succession prior to Sunday's home La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao, when they were beaten 3-0 after three late goals.
"The response to Sunday's defeat must be this," he said. "We did not deserve the result but we must react quickly. We have a tough game against Malaga, both teams really want to win. Our focus now is on winning the game."
The England assistant coach heavily blamed the referee after Saturday's game, calling the officiating "a joke," but said he also accepted he made mistakes himself.
"I do take responsibility," Neville said. "I'm not going to tell you. But I have made mistakes. We have had meetings where I have said I did this wrong, or that wrong. All coaches do that. No coach does everything perfectly -- training sessions, substitutions during a game. I always evaluate what I do. If I give you details it would be a great day for the newspapers as they would be full."
Valencia have conceded from a set piece in each of their last three La Liga games, and Neville admitted he had changed his mind about the importance of working on defending set pieces at training.
"We have conceded many goals through set pieces, it's true," he said. "The players take responsibility, me too. We are knocking our heads against the wall, as it is hurting us a lot. We must focus 100 percent. I've never believed in practising set pieces, as a player, but now is different. We have to say that this is one area where we can improve. We have been working on it a lot lately. And we must improve."
Experienced midfielder Enzo Perez is a doubt for the game with a calf muscle problem that forced him off late against Athletic last weekend.
"[Perez] has great character," he said. "The first day I arrived he had a small problem with his hamstring, and he told me he wanted to play in the Champions League. Then he was out for two or three weeks. On Sunday he took a knock but he played on. I don't know if he will be able to play [against Malaga]. But we now have Javi Fuego, Danilo, [Dani] Parejo, so we can cover better for injuries."