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There is a lot of tension at Spanish side Valencia ahead of their European campaign because of the dismissal of their previous coach Marcelino.
Marcelino led Valencia to a fourth place finish last season and thus a Champions League qualification as well as beating Barcelona to win the Copa Del Rey.
Six days before their visit to Stamford Bridge, Valencia Owner Peter Lim decided to sack Marcelino due to a strained relationship, and it’s now having an adverse effect on the club as the Valencia players are protesting the decision.
Marcelino had done a great job as Valencia boss and has been credited with bringing stability back to the club. He led them to a Champions League place last season and to a Copa del Rey final victory over Barcelona in Seville – their first trophy in 11 years.
Former Spain Under-21s manager Albert Celades was appointed on interim basis to handle the club and they were well beaten by Barcelona 5-2 during the weekend.
Celades had to attend the club’s Champions League press conference ahead of Chelsea clash without any of his players after they chose to boycott the media event because of the sacking of their previous coach.
“Obviously it’s not an ideal situation but it’s the players’ decision, really. I don’t have much more to say about that,” Celades said. “There isn’t anything I can do about it.
“I speak to the players every day. They took this decision but there is always dialogue. The reaction I’ve had has been very good and I’m sure it will continue to improve.
“The spirit is very good. (Tuesday) is the start of the best club competition in Europe and that is ample motivation for the players to give their best.
“They want to play, taste the atmosphere and be in the starting XI. No-one wants to miss out and that, for me, is the most important thing.”