MADRID, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Valencia midfielder Sergio Canales is aware of the task that lies ahead of his side as they look to overcome a 2-1 home defeat to Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League.
The result means that Valencia, who last year reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, must not score at least twice away to their rivals when they line up on Wednesday afternoon and although their rivals will be without influential striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich, that is still a big ask.
"It is going to be a big challenge, but it is also a nice one to have and we can do it," assured Canales.
"The key is in scoring an early goal so that they worry about what we are able to do. An early goal would motivate us and change the game, while it would also give them some doubts," he added. "The venue, the competition and the rival are ideal to allow us to do something important," said the 22-year-old, who commented that getting back into the tie would mean his side would not have to take so many risks in defense.
"All of the players in the squad want to do big things, we have the hope of knocking out PSG, who are one of the big sides in Europe and of continuing in the Champions League. It would be important for the club to reach the quarter-finals," he commented.
Valencia are one of four Spanish sides in the last 16 of the competition, but after Real Madrid's draw at home to Manchester United, Barcelona's defeat in Milan, Malaga's in Porto and Valencia's at home to Paris, there is a chance all four could be knocked out in this round, raising doubts among some commentators about the overall quality of the Spanish League: doubts Canales doesn't share.
"None of us could win in the first leg, but whatever happens, the league will still be the best," he commentated.
"I hope all four of us go through, because that would mean we have the best players," added Canales.
Meanwhile the game presents a personal challenge to the youngster who has fought his way back into the Valencia first team after undergoing two separate operations on cruciate knee ligament injuries, which had threatened his career.
"It's hard to say if I am back to my best as I am demanding and look back over my games and I admit I am not 100 percent. I still lack the rhythm of competition and you only get that by playing," admitted the former Spain Under-21 international. "I have been out of action for a long time, but I will get back to my best form with time.
"I am finding harder to get back than after the first injury and everything is going a bit slower, but it is a period that I will look back on and be grateful for. This game against Paris is the sort of match that shows you just where you are," he concluded.