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Gary Neville gets respite as Valencia scrape victory

By Staff Reporter

Gary Neville admitted he was relieved after picking up his first league win as Valencia manager but insisted it will not be a night for celebration.

Denis Cheryshev's diving header gave Valencia a nail-biting 2-1 victory over struggling Espanyol, who had taken the lead early in the second half after an error from returning goalkeeper Diego Alves allowed Oscar Duarte to head home.

Substitute Alvaro Negredo levelled on 70 minutes with the help of a deflection from Duarte, and Valencia held on in the remaining quarter of an hour after Cheryshev gave them the lead for the first time in 10 league matches under Neville.

"I think what the game tells us today is football isn't about putting on the best performance, but today we got the result," said Neville.

"It's not a night for any celebration whatsoever, not to get carried away. We'll gain some confidence from the result. There's a good feeling from the dressing room and we'll take things forward.

"Relief's probably a good word in some ways to describe what I felt. The last four minutes can be a long time in football at the end of a game. I wanted the final whistle to come as quickly as possible. I saw the reaction of the fans, of the players. I think it [10 games without a win] is far too long for this club."

Neville also praised the Mestalla faithful for their support throughout the game.

"The most incredible bit was the fans stayed with us, they stayed with every single player, they stayed with me," said Neville.

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