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01.01.2008 21:07

Rijkaard optimistic for 2008

David Puig

Frank Rijkaard is convinced nothing is lost yet and that the team is good enough to win the league and other titles. In his first press conference of 2008, Rijkaardĺs message to the fans was one of optimism.

FC Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard started his first conference of the new year by saying “the league is not lost and there is enough quality in the team for 2008 to be a success. Sure, we are in a position where we are obliged to work a lot, and seriously, but there is also happiness among us. We have the squad to be successful this season and I would like to work with all the recovered players and fight to bring some joy to the fans.

Looking ahead

QM3D0079.jpgThe year ended with a painful defeat against Real Madrid and doubts as to whether Barša have it in them to win the league. Rijkaard wants to look ahead and not back, saying ”the defeat to Madrid was a major disappointment but in sport you should not look back but keep working. We can only win and show our pride and that is what we will show. I don’t like to speak of the mistakes we made in 2007. I have thought twice about all my decisions and always considered the good of the team”.

Good games for the kids

On Wednesday, Barša meet Alcoyano in a game that is in good shape following the 3-0 away win ion the first leg. Rijkaard will be using the game to blood some youngsters and give a chance to players returning from injury like Edmilson. ”There are players coming back to the team and others that don’t get many minutes. It’ll be a good game for them. Oier to start? That might happen because in these games it is usually Jorquera who does but nothing will be decided until tomorrow.

After a goalkeeper

QM3D9974.JPGRijkaard confirmed that the club will be looking into the idea of a new keeper to replace Jorquera until the end of the season. He said ”the most important thing is that it is a keeper that can help the team to relax and who can play without creating debate. He has to be a tried and tested keeper who can play at any time. We have spoken about the matter with Begiristain and Unz˙e and the club is working on it. We have some options but we will be carrying on with our work calmly”.

His future

Rijkaard says he is looking forward to 2008 and the new challenges the year might bring. He said ”I am always being questioned. It is part of the job and my only reaction is to put more enthusiasm into my work. We are all in the ideal position to react. If I can maintain my pride and keenness for my work then I would like to stay at Barša”
Rijkaard optimistic for 2008

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Training for the unpicked players
Some of the players left out of the squad for the game with Alcoyano will train on Wednesday at the Camp Nou. Eto’o, who has played a game for Cameroon and Henry, who is getting over a migraine, will be expected to report to the club to get ready for the league game with Mallorca, as will Iniesta, Oleguer, TourÚ and Messi, the latter still getting over a muscle injury picked up against Valencia.

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