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11.01.2008 16:01

Rijkaard: “It is time to believe in the team”

Berta Brau

The Barça manager has said that “the team needs to prepare and find the mentality to get a result against Murcia”, who will face Barça at the Camp Nou this Saturday.

Frank Rijkaard was relaxed when he faced the media following Friday’s training session behind closed doors, but is aware that Murcia will not be an easy opponent. “We have studied our observers’ analysis and know that Murcia are anything but an easy team” he said.

Tactics against Murcia

The coach then described how he thinks the tactics might go against the recently promoted club. “They are a well organised team, which have a certain shape, and have wide men that come inside and cause problems. They also have a great team spirit and and are on form, so the team needs to prepare and find the mentality to get a result.”

Three home games

11_1_08_rijkaard.jpgBarça’s next three games will all be at the Camp Nou, twice in the league against Murcia and Racing Santander, and also the cup second leg against Sevilla, and this is a situation Frank Rijkaard feels “we need to take advantage of, by using the support of our fans to get points and good results … it is the right time to help and believe in the team because when the group gels well we can beat anybody”. He feels it is time for optimism, saying “we don’t want to start thinking everything is already decided because there are lots of games still to go and lots of points to be won.”

Edmilson out

With Jose Edmilson injured at the Sánchez Pijuán, Rijkaard will need to find somebody else to play in front of the defence, as Toure is also away, and that might mean splitting up the established centre back duo of Márquez and Milito: “It is one option, but we have already seen that we have a lot of games to play and things are going to be tough and so I need to analyse the players individually to see what each player needs and what the team needs.”
Rijkaard also said the club is doing all it can to get the injured players fit again as quickly as possible, bit did not want to give any dates.

Happy with cup result

Asked how he felt the team performed against Sevilla, Frank Rijkaard said it was a good result despite the football not being all that great. “Physically the team worked very hard. In the second half, if our football dropped, it was because we wanted to defend the result and because the other team was putting pressure on us. But I’m not worried because that was not usual for us and I think the result was good for getting through the round and that’s what we will do.”
Rijkaard: “It is time to believe in the team”

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Fitness training
The high number of injuries in the squad has led to some observers questioning whether Rijkaard is handling fitness training in the correct manner. “We have constant reports and as for injuries, Barça have less than the average for most European teams so we are doing a good job … the work we do on the field is just right for this group of players and the games we have coming, I don’t think there is any need to do any more or less work” he said.

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