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05.01.2008 23:14

Rijkaard: “The team has reacted”

Pere Marcé

Frank Rijkaard has told a press conference how important the three points were against Mallorca and said he was impressed with the way the team bounced back from defeat to Madrid.

The Barça coach highlighted “the good attitude and mentality” of the players against a side that made things difficult for them. “It was hard to get the ball flowing easily against a well positioned Mallorca team” said Rijkaard. He was also happy with the way the team played defensively against a Mallorca side that “plays well at the back and always creates danger on the counter attack”.

Good result and good football

Eto'o has said this week that results are more important than good football and Rijkaard pointed out this evening that Barça “always go onto the pitch to play good football, our football … we have to stick to our philosophy and try to play attractive football, but a combination of good results and good football is ideal”. He is aware of the importance of the win in order to stay in the wake of Real Madrid. “At this stage of the season, points are very important” he observed.

Reaction on the pitch

There has been a despondent mood at the Barça camp ever since the home loss to Madrid, but this evening Rijkaard felt “the team reacted well to the criticism. The group worked hard and although it was a complicated game, they got the win”.

Second half changes

Frank Rijkaard explained why he brought on Bojan for the midfielder Gudjohnsen, moving Iniesta into the Icelander’s place. “We brought on a forward to give us more depth and opted to play Iniesta in midfield”. The manager seemed to think this generated the right dynamic and was one of the main reasons for the win.

Pleased to welcome back Henry

Although he was named in the squad to play Madrid, Henry did not come on, but did this evening as a replacement for Giovani. Rijkaard was impressed with what he saw and said “we hope he can forget his injury because we need all the players and Henry also means a lot to us … Henry scored a disallowed goal and was also involved in the build up to the Eto’o goal”.
Rijkaard: “The team has reacted”
Training on Monday
After beating Mallorca, Barça have a day off before training resumes on Monday morning. The session has been scheduled for 10.30 with the focus on preparations for Wednesday’s cup match with Sevilla.

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