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15.02.2008 15:13

Rijkaard only focussing on Barcelona

Berta Brau

Frank Rijkaard admitted that FC Barcelona's game against Real Zaragoza on Saturday evening will be difficult, but dismissed talk of added pressure as his team are due to play after learning whether Real Madrid have won or lost at Real Betis.

The Blaugrana visit La Romareda where the home team have lost just once this season and the Dutch coach recognised that the match would be "very complicated" in a press conference after training on Friday. "They appear to be encouraged when they play against Barça," he added. "Besides they are a team that has done well against FC Barcelona in recent years." Despite that, Rijkaard has been working hard and he stated that he has "been preparing the team to obtain a good result".

A key victory

150208entreno_x13x.jpgWith the run-in to the season approaching tension could mount, but Rijkaard claimed that Barça always play "with little pressure so that we can do our jobs well". With three points at Zaragoza the main aim, the Blaugrana coach remembered that the hosts "always make things difficult".

After Madrid

The game between Zaragoza and Barça kicks off only minutes after Real Madrid's match at Real Betis finishes and if Bernd Schuster's side win then they would be eleven points ahead. That fact does not worry Rijkaard, however. It is the same to me whether we play before or after, the game will still be worth three points at the end," he explained. "We could be aware of what our rivals have doe, but I think that it is more useful and more important for us to focus on what we can do."

The system of play

Rijkaard denied that the Champions League encounter against Celtic in midweek would affect the side that he chooses and the system that he players against Zaragoza on Saturday. Carles Puyol and Deco are back, but neither will see the tactics change. "We travel and we play with what we have," the coach said. "When a player is named it means that he is ready to play and however long for that may be remains to be seen."
Rijkaard only focussing on Barcelona

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Henry, Touré and Eto'o
Reflecting on the performances of Thierry Henry this season, Rijkaard believes that the Frenchman has been playing well out wide. "Up to now he has played well on the wing and he can also play as a centre forward," he stated. "It is a very positive thing that a player can offer different things." As for Touré yaya, Rijkaard said that he is "well", but admitted that he "still has to fully recover after playing in the Africa Cup of Nations". Finally, Rijkaard spoke about Samuel Eto'o and said that the striker is "working to be able to joint he squad as soon as possible."

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