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03.02.2008 21:48

“This victory should boost our morale”

Vanessa Forns

Frank Rijkaard is convinced that because victory came when it did in the 87th minute and then after lots of chances, the 1-0 win over Osasuna should give the team “a lot of morale”.

The first team got three invaluable points this Sunday at the Camp Nou, three points which close the gap with leaders Real Madrid to six. A very happy Frank Rijkaard said that the win over Osasuna in a match that was still in the balance right until the end should boost the team’s morale. “The team did its job and the players have seen that if you fight you can come out on top,” he said.

As for closing the gap with Madrid, Rijkaard only commented that he didn’t pay any attention to the League leaders. “They’re ahead and for the moment they’re the best team in the League. What I want to do is to win every match with Barça.”

Fighting to the end

According to Rijkaard it was this fighting spirit that enabled the team to win the game. “Winning wasn’t easy, and Osasuna played in a very organised way. The most important thing is that the team fought hard right up to the end.” The Dutch coach also highlighted his substitutes, saying they had made a big contribution. “All round it’s a win that all the players have earned,” he said.

“If you make chances, in the end you’ll score”

Frank Rijkaard wasn’t that worried when asked about Barça’s problems with scoring in recent games. “When you win the match that doesn’t matter,” he said. “The team has created chances again and I thought the attitude was good. I think that if the team keeps on creating chances, the goals will come. It’s a question of confidence. OK, recently we’ve had some pretty tight games with few goals, but we just need to keep our heads and do what we need to do out on the park.”
“This victory should boost our morale”
Laporta: “The players gave their all”
Joan Laporta was obviously pleased with the vital three points which have cut the gap with Real Madrid down to six, and he stressed the importance of the team’s attitude in beating an Osasuna side that didn’t make things easy. “Today it was really important to win and we’ve done that. We’ve reduced the gap to six points. The players gave their all because they knew how important this game was. Their attitude was good and that’s the way we’ve got to keep on going. And if we do I’m sure we’ll get a shot at top spot.”

This Sunday’s victory in the Camp Nou was by no means easy. As Laporta pointed out, “None of us wanted to have a nail-biter but sometimes that tension gives you the satisfaction we had today.” Finally the Barça chairman talked about next Sunday’s match away at Sevilla. “It’ll be another tough game, we’ll have to battle for it, and I hope we come away with the three points,” he said.

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