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Gains in Spain

Andre Villas-Boas admitted that losing 'hurt', but was left with more positives from our display in a 2-0 defeat at Valencia on Thursday night.

The first half performance at the famous Mestalla was particularly impressive as we created a host of chances before the home side took the lead against the run of play with a stunning strike from Jonas.

We maintained a healthy share of possession throughout against a team that has finished third in La Liga in three-successive seasons and will play in the Champions League again in 2012-13.

However, Valencia were clinical and another fine goal from Feghouli 15 minutes from time signalled our first defeat in pre-season.

“The first 25 minutes were excellent,” reflected Andre. “We created numerous chances and that could have changed the running of the game.

“In the first half we had the run of the chances, in the second half we weren’t as clear and Valencia improved before and after half-time.

“Still, Valencia only really had one chance at goal (in the second half). We had a couple of half-chances from crosses and releasing Defoe in behind.

“There were good, positive signs when you play against a team of this standing.

“Obviously it’s a defeat and that hurts, but the result counts for nothing for the first game of the season against Newcastle, winning or losing.

“What’s important is to win at St James’ and our focus will be on that.”