Alba: Valencia KO would not be failure
Valencia defender Jordi Alba believes it will not be a failure if Los Ché are knocked out of the Europa League by AZ Alkmaar on Thursday.
“It would not be a failure on our part,” said the Spanish international. “We are in good form, although the results have not been going our way, but we have been playing well all season and in the Europa League we have had a good run and will give our all to reach the semi-finals.”
Having never lost to Dutch opposition before the 2-1 first-leg away defeat, Valencia will be looking to continue their run of eight unbeaten home games in Europe since a 1-0 loss to Manchester United in the 2010-11 Champions League group stage, and Alba insists the players are in the mood to do it.
“The moral in the dressing room is good for us to succeed and get through this tie,” he insists. “We made things difficult for ourselves in the first game despite playing well, something that was not reflected in the scoreline.”
Asked about his own personal situation regarding his contract renewal amid reports of a proposed move to Barcelona, Alba maintained this is not the time to talk about it.
“I have always said I am very happy here but right now the important thing is to get through this tie against AZ Alkmaar,” he said.
Nonetheless, AZ’s Icelandic international striker Johann Gudmundsson believes his teammates have learned how Valencia will play, although he is well aware of the task facing them.
“Now we've been out on the pitch against them we know 100 per cent how they play,” he told UEFA.com “We will see what we can do better next time round.”
Gudmundsson, who has been capped 15 times by his country and has been with AZ three years, says his team may have to adopt different tactics at the Mestalla.
“I think when we go there it's not exactly that we'll play in a different style but we'll possibly be more compact,” said the 21-year-old. “Hopefully we can score at least one goal and make life difficult for them."
“They are all good footballers,” he warned, “and obviously Roberto Soldado is a really fine player but he had some good chances [in the first leg] and didn't score, which was fortunate for us. Now they have to come out and try to beat us because we have a one-goal advantage so have nothing to lose.
“We are obviously the underdogs in this tie so we'll just go there and relax and try to play our football and go through,” he added.
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