Valencia, Aug 26 (IANS) Valencia coach Nuno Espiritu Santo was a satisfied man after seeing his side qualify for the group stage of the Champions League despite a 1-2 defeat to Monaco.
Valencia had to cling on in the closing minutes of the match as Monaco looked for a goal to take the tie into extra time on Tuesday, but they held firm at the back. Valencia won the first leg 31-1 to win the tir 4-3 on aggregate, reports Xinhua.
They will go into Thursday’s draw as the fifth Spanish team in the tournament’s main draw alongside FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.
It will be the first time that a country has had five teams in this stage of the tournament and the coach was understandably proud of his side’s efforts.
“Everything that you get in life is through suffering. We were hard working and stuck together to conserve the result,” he said on Tuesday.
Valencia had started strongly and an Alvaro Negredo goal looked to have assured their progress, but the second half saw them struggle against Monaco’s extra fitness after three games of the season.
“Everything went well for us in the first half, we controlled things and scored a great goal, but in the second half it changes and the plans got upset, but that happens in football,” said Nuno, who had been criticized by some fans in the early days of the season.
“Our fans are demanding, they want the best and that means we have to work hard. Valencia is a Champions League side, we want to be in the Champions League and we are in the Champions League so now we have new challenges,” he said.
The coach also said the club was looking at new signings, but that any signings would be within the limit of the club’s budget and financial fair play rules.