Gary Neville is expected to remain in charge of Valencia when they host Barcelona in the Copa del Rey on 10 February. Valencia are yet to win in La Liga in nine matches under Neville and were beaten 1-0 by Real Betis in their latest league fixture on 7 February, prompting speculation that the former Manchester United player would be relieved of his duties.
Defeat at the Benito Villamarin was preceded by a humiliating 7-0 loss to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg in midweek. Neville said after the Betis match that the obituaries for his Valencia reign had already been written, but sources at Valencia told Sky Sports that he will be in the Mestalla dugout for the second leg against Barcelona.
The ex-England full-back likened the Betis defeat to a "punch in the face" but insisted that he would not step down.
"I said before I came that I would be judged in five months. The obituaries have already been written – I have been judged in six weeks," he was reported as saying by the Guardian newspaper. "But I believe in myself, I always have. I believe in the work I am doing – there is structure, belief, organisation, far better fitness. What I don't believe is that the results reflect the improvements we have seen.
"I don't think we deserved the last two defeats [in the league]. But the reality is that they are two defeats and I am aware of the consequences when you don't get good results."
Former Valencia midfielder Gaizka Mendieta said he did not expect Neville to be sacked just yet despite the club's dire run of form. "The president and chairman still believe in Gary and because of the short time he's been at the club, he should stay and not be changed again," he told Sky Sports.
"But the sporting director and the fans won't be thinking the same. It's not only the results, but it's the way the team is playing. It's not only Gary who's to blame here, I think it's the players as well."