Valencia coach Unai Emery has confessed that he did not want to face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals after guiding his team to a 4-0 quarter-final first-leg win over AZ on Thursday.
Los Che have been paired with Diego Simeone's side in the last four of the competition after brushing aside the Eredivisie outfit 5-2 on aggregate, but the Basque coach claims the draw is an undesirable outcome for both clubs.
"The tie against Atletico Madrid will be very demanding," said Emery at a press conference. "We wanted to avoid Atleti and they wanted to avoid us."
Emery then reflected on the win over AZ at Mestalla, putting their positive result down to a much-improved defensive showing, and now hopes they can use their European success as a reference point for the rest of the league campaign.
"We displayed an efficiency in our actions, and it gave us the victory," he explained.
"We defended against the opposing team better than we did in the first leg and that security at the back helped us launch more attacks. We have been comfortable at the Mestalla.
"The team are suffering in the league, our primary competition, and we must put an end to our poor form.
"We will fight on all fronts for the remainder of the season."
Valencia resume La Liga action on Sunday with a visit to Real Madrid. The match kicks off at 21.30CET.