MADRID: Granada’s slim hopes of launching a bid for La Liga survival under Tony Adams were further diminished as an under-strength Celta Vigo ran out 3-0 away winners on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Former Arsenal and England captain Adams took temporary charge until the end of the season earlier this week having previously worked at Granada as an adviser to Chinese owner Jiang Lizhang.
Granada remains seven points off safety with just six games remaining.
“It’s going to be hard to change mentality and confidence in the next few weeks, but I am going to try,” said Adams.
“I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeve about bringing this squad together.
“When you are in these situations there is a lot of fear, a lot of blame, human beings try to look after themselves and deflect criticism. I certainly don’t, I’m not one of those characters.”
Adams named a side of 11 different nationalities and without a single Spaniard in his starting line-up at Nuevo Los Carmenes stadium.
But Granada rarely threatened a much-changed Celta side, with one eye on the second leg of their Europa League quarterfinals against Genk, and Jozabed opened the scoring midway through the first half.
Marcelo Diaz’s fine free-kick doubled Celta’s lead 17 minutes from time before Claudio Beauvue added a third after Theo Bongonda’s effort came back off the post.
“I’ve got to build on the performance,” added Adams. “I saw a couple of players today that I haven’t seen play like that all season.”
At the other end of the table fourth-placed Sevilla’s slump in form continued but they were grateful to escape with a point from a 0-0 draw at Valencia.
Valencia were denied a fourth consecutive win as Italian striker Simone Zaza had a goal ruled out for handball 17 minutes from time.
Sevilla’s best effort saw Stevan Jovetic hit the post early on, but Jorge Sampaoli’s men have now won just one of their last eight games in all competitions.
A point means Sevilla trail Atletico Madrid by three points in the battle for automatic Champions League qualification in third.
However, they enjoy a comfortable eight-point lead over fifth-placed Villarreal, who travel to Alaves on Monday.
Leganes remain just five points above the relegation zone after Leo Baptistao struck in stoppage time to hand Espanyol a 1-0 win.
Eibar’s quest to qualify for Europe for the first time faltered as they lost 2-0 at Real Betis.