Gary Neville using iPads to coach Valencia

Valencia coach Gary Neville is using modern technology to get his ideas across to the players and his assistant Miguel Angel Angulo says he is managing with the language barrier better than he expected.
Gary Neville using iPads to coach Valencia

Neville was known for his dexterity with touch-screen analysis as a TV pundit and he is now using computers at Valencia to compensate for his basic Spanish.

“He has given an iPad to each player to help them follow training and different actions during games,” Angulo said.

“He is doing better than I expected. I thought the language barrier would be more of a problem. Gary has already started to speak a little Spanish and he is improving quickly. There is a good understanding with the players asking him or me what is wanted.

“It won’t take long before we can demonstrate the style of football that we want.” Neville faces a difficult challenge to get Valencia back on track and he is yet to win after two games in charge.

They failed to reach the Champions League knockout stage after losing at home to Lyon and got a fortunate draw at Eibar in La Liga last Sunday with a late own-goal that left them eighth in the table with 21 points from 15 games.

It should be an easier evening on Wednesday however, when they bid to book a place in the King’s Cup last 16 against lower league Barakaldo. They lead 3-1 lead from the first leg.

“What he (Gary) is looking for is that the players understand as quickly as possible what he wants and the games against Lyon and Eibar were really games of adaption,” Angulo said.

Meanwhile, Barcelona will face Chinese opposition in a competitive game for the first time in the club’s history as they face Guangzhou Evergrande in the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan tomorrow (10am Irish time).

Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano says the club are taking the competition this week very seriously.

“It’s important for us and for the club the fact that we can go there and compete to be the best in the world and above all, obtain the prize,” said the Argentina international.

“Often, FC Barcelona is talked about as a reference point in the world and now we have the chance to crown ourselves as such.

“We know it will not be easy but we are excited about having the chance to do it.”

Mascherano was part of the 2011 Barcelona team that claimed the Club World Cup prize.

“Lots of people believe that this is a minor competition, but it is not like that, they are wrong. For us it is a very important competition and it will have an effect on the rest of the season,” he says.

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