Espanyol coach Ernesto Valverde held clear-the-air talks with his players before yesterday's morning training session.

Valverde spoke with his players for over 15 minutes about the 2-0 reverse to Deportivo La Coruna, which has left them on the fringes of dropping out of the European places.

Six defeats in seven games has left Espanyol in crisis, though president Daniel Sanchez Llibre insists: "The Liga is decided at the end of the season.

"If we mention the Champions League, people say we talk too much and if we don't, they say we're not ambitious."