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30.05.2007 14:32

Rijkaard: "For Barça every match is important"

Sandra Sarmiento

Frank Rijkaard is taking the game against Gimnàstic in the Copa Catalunya very seriously, despite the international players not appearing. "It will not be the Barça that we are used to, but it will be an interesting game."

The Blaugrana will take on their Catalan neighbours on Thursday evening in the semi finals of the Copa Catalunya. Nàstic are the opponents only four days after the club were relegated to la Segunda A. Rijkaard is conscious that the team, coached by Paco Flores, will go out with a great determination and looking to cause a surprise at the Nou Estadi and he wants his players to show the same attitude.

Despite the numerous absentees, the Barça coach stated that "it will not be the Barça that we are used to, but it will be an interesting game because there will be so many youngsters. We want to play well in the game on Thursday. Every game for Barcelona is important and our aim is to always entertain."

The future Of Krkic and Barça B

30-05-07_WEB_RIJKAARD_02.jpgTen of the squad have been called up from the youth teams for the cup encounter. After the Barça B team was relegated to la Tercera, Rijkaard said that "the club is planning the future of the B team. We want to see where every indivudal is. Everyone who is working on this is weighing up the situation and then a decision will be announced."

Although he is not available for the cup game, the future of Bojan Krkic is a hot topic. Rijkaard was full of praise for the striker as he said: "We are talking about a quality player, with a great deal of talent and we have to help him. But the most important thing is that he can keep playing with any pressure. That will help a great deal for his future."

Ronaldinho’s suspension

The Competition Committee met on Tuesday and confirmed that Ronaldinho will serve a one match ban after being sent off in the game against Getafe last weekend. The Barcelona coach now has to wait to see if the Blaugrana will look to challenge that ruling by going to the Appeals Committee. "The club will decide what is better," the Dutchman said. "There are some rules and they have to be accepted, but the board will do what they think is right for the player. it is a pity, because we will miss him but we have confidence that we can win the game for him. I do hope that he can play in both games though."

Respect for the referees

Rijkaard then reflected on referees and had only praise for the men in the middle. "The Spanish league is one of the strongest and toughest leagues," he said. "Therefore, the work of the referees is difficult. Their work has to be valued because it is not easy to referee any game."

A Schuster fan

30-05-07_web_03.jpgWhen asked about the post-match comment sof Getafe coach Bernd Schuster after last weekend's game, Rijkaard clarified that "I was not accusing anyone, I only wanted to defend my players". He continued: "Schuster is a great coach, and was a great player too, and has had great success with his way of doing things. I have a lot of respect for him and one thing like this does not mean that my opinion of him has changed."

Derby day

Earlier this week, Espanyol striker Luís García stated that beating Barça would be huge because last season the Barcelona fans sang 'you're going to the second division'. Rijkaard said that he understood the view: "It is a normal reaction because we are rivals. I never want a team to go down a division," he said. "It gives me no joy, but I recognise that what he said has given Espanyol a lift."
With just two games to go of the season, the Barça coach said that "We have to think about ourselves. We have to work with pride and we will see what happens. I have confidence that we continue fighting until the end to keep the race going until the end."
Rijkaard: “For Barça every match is important“

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Change of kick off time
Barcelona will play Espanyol on Saturday, June 9, at 21:00 and Rijkaard is not that happy as many of his players will only have returned two days before from internationla duty. "I would have preferred to play on Sunday," he explained. "In a week like this, every coach would like one more day to prepare. "It is not very logical because the players will be tired and that could affect the level that they play at in the league."

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