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03.03.2008 19:33

“There’s still ninety minutes to go and we’ve got to work hard”

Jordi Clos

Carles Puyol warns that the tie with Celtic is not yet over and the players are taking it seriously as they know they are up against a tough rival.

Winning the first leg of the last 16 encounter 2-3 doesn’t mean the tie is over, said Carles Puyol at a packed press conference before tomorrow’s Barça-Celtic game. “There’s still ninety minutes to go and we’ve got to work hard. We don’t think it’s over and we’ve got to do the business against tough opponents,” he added. “Anything can happen in football and if we aren’t on the top of our game we could have a nasty surprise.”

Sound defence

atletico-fcbb_x6x.jpgPuyol says the side wants to get back to winning ways after Sunday’s defeat in the Calderón. “We’re really up for it. Losing 4-2 was bad, but we have to move on and focus on this game which is massive for us.” In spite of slipping up in Madrid, the club captain says that the team is in form and now they need to work to get back their sound defensive line.

The captain’s message

Puyol didn’t want to comment on player rotations in recent games, though he did say that when the side loses, “people always talk about the players who weren’t there”. He also asked for a bit of balance and for people not to take victories and defeats out of proportion: “When you win you can’t automatically think you’re the best, and when you lose just throw in the towel.”

Celtic will be “aggressive and play on the break”

QM3D7104.jpgOne of the key things for winning the tie will be to keep an orderly defence. “We have to play quickly, keep hold of the ball and keep that defence in place,” he argued. He thinks Celtic will be more or less like in the first leg, aggressive, determined not to concede goals and playing on the break. However, Barça will be able to match them: “They’ll come out really going for it, and we’ll make sure we do the same.”
“There’s still ninety minutes to go and we’ve got to work hard”

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Unique atmosphere
The Scottish journalists at the press conference asked Puyol about how he’d felt in the first leg. The defender was lavish in his praise: “Fabulous fans. It’s great to play in such a fantastic atmosphere and it really puts you on the top of your game.”

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