Diego Alves optimistic despite poor season for Valencia
Diego Alves believes Valencia can still achieve a great finish to the season despite a poor start under Ernesto Valverde so far.
Valencia started 2012 in third, having made the semi-finals of both the Europa League and the Copa del Rey, but they finished 2012 in ninth place and have a lot of ground to make up.
"We finished last season quite well," Alves said. "We managed to reach the Copa del Rey and the Europa League semi-finals and now need to keep getting good results because there are more expectations.
"We have things to improve, of course, but the team have managed good results. In this job you have to keep working hard and every day you need to show you're on top form. That's how it works."
Having joined Valencia from Almeria before the 2011/12 season, Alves broke into the starting line-up around the start of 2012, playing 12 league matches.
In the current campaign, the 27-year-old Brazilian has started 15 of 17 league games for Valencia, while he has also become one of the main goalkeepers for the Seleção, having played in three of Brazil's last four friendlies.
"I fulfilled my dream to play for the Brazilian national team and also managed to that in a home game, in front of our supporters.
"That's priceless and I had always dreamed of it. I now want to keep my place in the team."