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27.01.2008 21:41

“It is a shame but we haven’t given up yet”

Vanessa Forns

Rijkaard was sorry to see two points go to waste at San Mamés. But he said that although “it is a shame, we have not given up yet”.

Despite taking the lead through Bojan and enjoying several chances to go even further ahead Barça saw how Sunday’s opponent, Athletic Bilbao, were able to snatch a late equaliser in the 78th minute. The Barça manager described Llorente’s goal as “a psychological blow to the team, until then they had controlled the situation for most of the game”.

“The team fought hard”

Frank Rijkaard believes that it was always going to be a complicated game, one that saw a Barça that “fought very hard … and was able to create several chances" to score more. But although his side has dropped two crucial points in their chase to catch up with Real Madrid, Rijkaard feels that "if we carry on like that, I am sure we can close the gap ... we can't say that we have given anything up".

No lack of ambition

Frank Rijkaard also explained that “I don’t think the team lacked ambition, mainly because you can hardly say that we didn’t create chances to score a second goal. But unfortunately our opponents were able to get a draw”. He ended his conference by saying “we have to look at ourselves and focus on our work. We have to keep working and fighting hard”.
“It is a shame but we haven’t given up yet”
Milito out as precautionary measure
One player missing on today’s visit to Athletic Club Bilbao was the benched Diego Milito. Speaking after the game, Frank Rijkaard explained that “he was al bit exhausted" and so he had not wanted to take any risks.

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