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Although the main focus was clearly on tomorrow’s game (TICKETS HERE), Ernesto Valverde was quizzed on a number of other issues in today’s press conference, and we’ve picked out some of the standout quotes below:

On the managerial change at Las Palmas:

"The characteristics of the Las Palmas players haven’t changed and Pako Ayestarán hasn’t had much time to work with them. But there is a certain element of surprise involved, although in inverted commas because not much can change in two days.”

“But we do have the reference of when he coached Valencia to a win here. I’m sure he’ll structure the team around his tastes. Las Palmas have plenty of skill and like to play the ball and cause damage through football, and I can see Ayestarán continuing with that.”

On the international break:

"It's very important to win going into the international break. The first came very quickly and this one comes after the ninth competitive match. We'll try to go into it with a full house of wins, which would be a great end to this first stage".

On the right back position:

"Semedo is a very fast player and is a safe bet for taking on tough opponents. But I also have very different players in Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal who can cover for that position well too. I consider it an advantage to have so many different options.”

On Leo Messi:

"For Messi to surpass Puyol in appearances goes to show what a capacity he has for pulverizing records like this. He’s reached this number at the age of 30 while Puyol was 36, and that’s quite spectacular.”

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