Former Manchester United and Real Sociedad boss David Moyes says expectations are "through the roof" at Valencia, with Gary Neville finally recording his first league win at the club on Saturday.
Neville's side beat Espanyol 2-1 to collect his first three-point haul in La Liga at the 10th attempt since taking over in December.
"He will be glad to get that first win out of the way, but I can tell you, anybody who has been to Valencia, their expectations are through the roof," Moyes, sacked after just a year in charge at Sociedad, told Sky Sports.
"Of all the clubs in Spain, they are the one club who think they should be challenging Real Madrid and Barcelona.
"It is very difficult to touch those two teams.
"They had a good team last year, they qualified for the Champions League, they played good stuff, they have got a really demanding crowd."
Moyes recalled facing Valencia during his brief period as a Liga manager.
He said: "The first thing in the press conference was, 'Do you think Valencia can compete and get above Barcelona and Real Madrid?' and I felt like saying, 'You have no chance of that happening', because the two teams are too powerful and too strong.
"I have spoken to Phil [Neville] a couple of times and I know how hard it is, winning games in Spain.
"There isn't a lot of goals in Spain at times. Teams defend very tightly.
"I watched the second half of the game last night and Espanyol missed a great chance to make it 2-2, but Gary probably needs that little bit of good fortune you need in management to get one or two results and get started."