Valencia coach Gary Neville believes Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Real Madrid was the best 90 minutes they have played since he took over.
Neville is still without a win in La Liga, but his players battled to level the scores twice against Madrid, who finished with 10 men.
Dani Parejo’s spot-kick cancelled out Karim Benzema’s opener and Paco Alcacer levelled again after Gareth Bale had put Madrid ahead for a second time following Mateo Kovacic’s dismissal.
“From 20 to 70 I think we played with velocity,” Neville said. “But when they were left with 10, we relaxed a bit because we were able to hold possession a lot easier.
“When Real Madrid started to press more the game changed, but if we didn’t believe we wouldn’t have got back from 2-1 down. It’s never easy to play against 10.
“I felt good. Even when I was frustrated we went behind. I see that we have a great physical condition. We are more compact in defence and of course Madrid will create chances, but they will against anyone.
“We played well and it’s the best 90 minutes we have managed so far.”
Alvaro Negredo missed a late chance to steal the win for Valencia, but Neville sympathised with the former Manchester City striker.
“Alvaro is alright,” he said. “I spoke with him in the locker room. The city would have been really happy if that goal goes in, but that’s football.
“Alvaro is always getting better and he will score many goals this season. One game does not define a season.”
The 40-year-old also responded to claims he was not interested in staying in coaching, confirming he has plans to continue for years to come.
“I was talking about in 15, 20 years when I said about [not staying in] management,” he said.
“I don’t want to be a coach for just six months. I absolutely hope I’m here beyond six months, but I need to prove myself.”
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