Gary Neville’s position as Valencia manager looks increasingly insecure after his struggling side slumped to yet another defeat.
Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Real Betis left Valencia just four points clear of the relegation zone, extending the England coach’s wait for his first Primera Division win.
Neville has been in charge at the Mestalla for more than two months and vowed to fight on, but admitted he is running out of time to turn things around.
“I said before I came that I would be judged in five months,” Neville, assistant to England boss Roy Hodgson, said. “The obituaries have already been written – I have been judged in six weeks.
“Our last two league matches were not performances that deserved two defeats, but the reality is that they are two defeats and I am aware of the consequences when you don’t get good results.
“What matters are results. We knew this would be about one or two moments and they have not gone our way. The line between defeat and victory is so fine.”
Neville could have no complaints about the 7-0 midweek hammering at Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, but felt Valencia deserved something against Betis.
Alvaro Negredo missed a pair of second-half chances and Shkodran Mustafi had a goal ruled out for offside in injury time.
It meant Ruben Castro’s goal condemned Valencia to a sixth defeat under Neville, who saw Jose Gaya sent off late on.
“It’s clear that we are better than some of the teams we are playing against,” Neville said.
“That’s the most difficult thing to explain. I would say that it was a tight game, that the lines are fine, but that you have to win it in both boxes.
“I can’t believe that we will keep missing chances and that every time there is a chance the other team will take it.”
Neville added: “It’s just not going for us at the moment. That was a pretty solid away performance. I continue to work, I continue to have belief.
“Conversations with the owners are between me and the owners. We have to turn it round quickly, I understand that. It is hard to explain the defeat. It will turn.”
Neville and Valencia owner Peter Lim are business partners.
The Singaporean businessman owns a share of the former defender’s Hotel Football and Cafe Football businesses, as well as a 50% stake in Salford City – the non-league football club Neville owns along with brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes.
Valencia striker Negredo refused to back Neville after this latest defeat, telling Movistar: “That’s not up to me. We know the coach well but that’s up to the club. We shouldn’t get involved in things that we aren’t supposed to.”