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Ryan: Valencia can challenge for trophies this season

Valencia have endured a frustrating season thus far but goalkeeper Mathew Ryan believes the Spaniards can still challenge for silverware.

Consistency has eluded Valencia this season after finishing fourth last term, with Ryan and Co. managing five wins from their opening 12 La Liga matches to occupy seventh position.

Valencia are also on the cusp of a Champions League group-stage exit following Tuesday’s 2-0 loss at Zenit, while there have been reports of discontent at the club.

But Ryan – one of six off-season recruits under the age of 25 – is confident the youth of Valencia will rediscover their best form, highlighting the club’s second-best defensive record in La Liga as a foundation for a successful campaign.

Valencia have conceded nine goals. Only third-placed Atletico Madrid (six) have a better record.

“When you are a club like Valencia and have a playing group like we have, we have the ability to win any game we play,” the 23-year-old Australia international told Omnisport.

“It’s been a frustrating season so far. We have not showed the consistency we know we have. At the end of the day, little things cost us but that is football.

“We have had a few changes with young players coming in. We have a fairly young squad compared to the previous season. The owners want to build a team for the future without taking for granted where we are now.

“It is normal when you have some changes in a young squad that it takes time and some games together to get on the same page.

“We are getting to a stage of the season where we should have an understanding. We are working every day to get the results that we need.

“The defensive stability is something we can be very proud of and hopefully we start combining going forward and putting the final piece of the puzzle together and start banging in a few more goals.

“I’m confident the more games we play, come the end of the season, we will be there or thereabouts challenging for some trophies and European football.”

Valencia, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Las Palmas last week, travel to Sevilla on Sunday.

Fri 27 Nov, 2015
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