Valencia midfielder Joaquin has underlined the importance of recording a victory against Sevilla at home on Sunday.
Unai Emery’s side are poised to qualify automatically for next season’s group stages in the Champions League should they remain in third place – which means they must shrug off the threat from fourth-placed Villarreal.
And Joaquin is adamant the upcoming encounter with eighth-placed Sevilla, who have endured a testing season to date and are 15 points behind their weekend rivals, is a must-win.
“It’s clear that the season has been difficult in every sense but even though Sevilla aren’t at their best at the moment, we still can’t overlook them,” Joaquin said.
“It is a home game and we can’t afford to drop points. It is also a chance for us to forget about the past and get back on track with points at home. We have to be strong.”
“Above all, because teams competing for third place are going to come here, we can’t afford to let any points slip away.”
Valencia’s home form will be crucial in the run home according to Joaquin, but he said they must put last week’s 4-0 loss to Zaragoza behind them.
“We know that the result from the other day cannot be repeated if we want to keep fighting for this third place,” he said.
“We have to pick ourselves back up knowing that there are ten games left to play. We need to be more united as a team – not because of the defeat or the results that we’ve had, but rather because the final stretch is when everything comes together.”
“It’s clear that we have 10 finals to go and we can’t relax, we can’t waste all the good work that we did at the start of the season.”