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Nuno plays down talk of Negredo rift

Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo has cooled suggestions of a rift with Alvaro Negredo, stating that he wants the striker to return to the squad as soon as possible.

Negredo has not been included in the matchday squad for Valencia since the 3-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao on October 4 after criticising Nuno's role in their slow start to the season in an interview.

Despite an injury to Rodrigo during the defeat with Atletico Madrid last weekend, the former Manchester City man was not recalled for Saturday's clash with Levante - with Nuno previously citing his absence as a result of "technical, sporting reasons".

Although Valencia ran out 3-0 winners at the Mestalla, the fans voiced their disapproval over the treatment of the striker by whistling the coach.

However, Nuno continued to insist the 30-year-old's absence is solely down to performance-related issues, playing down suggestions of disaffection between the pair.

"I've already explained the Negredo case from my perspective. No one has a bigger interest than me to see Alvaro come back to help us. We want him back," the Portuguese said.

"The numbers that we're seeing aren't good enough. Many people don't see what I see, it's my job to analyse players and the options available to us."

When asked what he was going to do to try and stop the whistles, Nuno was adamant that things would soon turn around.

"What I'm going to do is go to work tomorrow. We've now had a number of games in the Liga without losing," he added.

"If we hadn't drawn those two games at home [against Deportivo La Coruna and Real Betis] we'd be in a different situation.

"I understand the fans. It hurts on a personal level, no-one likes listening to that, but I'm convinced that it's going to change."