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16.03.2007 17:03

Rijkaard: the team is focused

Frank Rijkaard believes that the match against Recreativo “will be a very interesting game - they are a team that is working very well”. The coach sees the opposition “very motivated”, and believes his team is working towards a good result”.

This Saturday Barça visit one of the revelation teams of the season - Recreativo Huelva. In the pre-match press conference Frank Rikjaard says he sees the Andalusian team “in a good position and that is something that demonstrates how well they are working. I’m sure they are looking forward to playing us and it’s an extra motivation for them to be playing Barça”. The coach says that “the team must prepare in the best way possible and we’re working hard to achieve a positive result. We have a very interesting game ahead of us.”

Uche and Sinama the danger men

For Rikjaard, one of the key strengths of Recreativo this year are the players Uche and Sinama. The Dutch coach says that Uche is “like a player in the habit of scoring plenty of goals. Sinama and Uche allow ‘Recre’ to play with depth and speed, that is one of the factors for us to take into account”.

The Barça coach believes the fact that Barça have failed to win away from home in four months “is an added motivation”. All in all, Rikjaard considers this years league championship to be “a very tough battle; up to now we’ve seen a lot of surprise results involving teams that on paper were much better”.

Márquez, rested

The Barça coach has omitted Rafa Márquez from the squad for this match. The Dutch coach said, “Rafa is an important player for us but I think now is the time for him to have a rest”. Rikjaard has included in the squad fullbacks Zambrotta, Gio and Sylvinho. As regards tactics, the inclusion of these three does not mean the team will play with a 4-3-3 formation.

Rikjaard refused to shift blame to individual players: “you must never point the finger at the players, we are a team and we want to give a much as we can. We all have a duty to the club, the team and the supporters.

‘Ronnie’ and Motta

Frank Rijkaard also spoke about Ronaldinho and his work in the gymnasium. The Barça coach defended the Brazilian and the other players who undertake special exercises off the field. “ Some players do individual work in the gymnasium. They need to work extra”. Rikjaard also expressed his satisfaction with the return to training of Motta: “Now he is working and hopefully soon he will get a chance to show his quality on the pitch”.

Finally, despite the fact that this was the first week in months that Barça had a full week to prepare for a weekend league match, Rikjaard was adamant that elimination from the Champions League is never a positive thing. He also added “we must focus on the objectives ahead of us”.
Rijkaard: the team is focused
Barça, Rijkaard and Ronaldinho
Stories that appeared in the Italian press this week linking Ronaldinho with a move to Italian clubs were also mentioned during the press conference. The Barça coach responded by saying “I can’t imagine this club without him. Hopefully the fans will be able to enjoy having ‘Ronnie’ around for many more years”.

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