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02.02.2008 14:10

"We have given up nothing"

Sandra Sarmiento

Frank Rijkaard recognised that Real Madrid are doing well in the league, but he is happy with the way his Barça side are playing and thinks that they will react when the leaders drop points.

The Dutch coach has been impressed with Bernd Schuster's team although he believes that the pressure is now on them to continue performing. "Madrid are in incredible form," he said. "They are the best and want to win every game. We are in three competitions and we are not giving up anything. Looking too much at other teams saps you energy and strength. It is not a good thing to be happy that another team has not done well if you too have not played to you best. Now, if they have a stumble then we will have to be prepared."

Direct football

Barcelona are unbeaten in 2008 have won four games and drawn five and the defensive solidity has a lot to do with the great start to the year. "I never complain if we miss chances because at least it means that we are creating them," Rijkaard continued. "But it is true that the majority of teams not play like Chelsea. They are organised and do not leave much space. It is important to be direct when we win possession. We have to take advantage of any space when our opponents are disorganised."

The return of Ronaldinho

ARCHIVAR_19.jpgRonaldinho returned to action on Thursday in the Copa del Rey and the fans gave the Brazilian a memorable ovation. Rijkaard was pleased to see him come back, but said that the player cannot be expected to be at his best just yet. "Ronaldinho did specific work to recover from his injury and to regain his strength," he explained. "He has just played a few minutes and we should remain calm and not expect too much of him until he has found his rhythm. He needs time."

The qualities of Bojan

Bojan Krkic's career took another huge step up this week as he was named in the full Spain squad for the first time by Luis Aragonés, only months after being made a permanent member of the Barça squad. "He moves with intelligence, is well-balanced and makes the right decisions on the pitch," Rijkaard said. "He is growing stronger and is improving tactically. I am very pleased that he has been called up, he deserves it."

The visit of Osasuna

Osasuna visit on Sunday and will be hoping to improve their away record as they sit in 15th place and have lost seven of their ten games on the road this season. "They are a good team and are playing well," Rijkaard explained. "They know what they want and they only lost in the final moment against Sevilla. That shows that we will have to go out from the start with the right attitude."
“We have given up nothing“

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Club backing
After hearing that Joan Laporta and the board of directors had given him their full support after meeting in midweek, Frank Rijkaard said: "I want to thank them and continue work hard and make every happy."

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