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03.03.2008 20:05

Rijkaard: “We’ve got to fight to get through”

Anna Segura

Despite winning at Celtic Park, the Dutch coach doesn’t believe the tie is done and dusted and this Tuesday the team will have to work hard to get through to the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Frank Rijkaard appeared at a packed press conference in the Camp Nou before tomorrow’s clash with Celtic. He said that the team still had to finish the job: “The tie is still on and this game is massive for us. We’ve got to fight to make sure we get through.”

Respect for Celtic

Celtic are still hopeful before the game in the Camp Nou, as their coach Gordon Strachan pointed out today. Rijkaard is convinced the Hoops will play a great game and that they deserve a lot of respect. “The Champions League is a top level competition so we need to be ready and get out there and do the job.”

Big names

QM3D7254.jpgRijkaard was asked why Messi and Touré didn’t try to get booked in the first leg and sit out their one match bans this Tuesday. He explained that in that match “we had to work hard to win and we needed those players on the pitch.”

Rijkaard admits that Bojan, who could become the youngest marksman in the Champions League if he scores against Celtic, is a significant consideration but he pointed out that the most important thing is the team and the final result.

Going for everything

QM3D7468.jpgAlthough it’s Champions League time this Tuesday, Frank Rijkaard said that the team hasn’t given up on any of the titles they are chasing: “We’re in more than one competition and every game is important for us”.

However, injuries in recent months haven’t helped Rijkaard to rotate players. The Dutch coach also denied that keeping Messi out of the starting line-up against Atlético de Madrid was because he wanted to rotate: “The medical staff told me there were players with niggles or who could do with a break, and I didn’t want to take any risks.”
Rijkaard: “We’ve got to fight to get through”

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Chelsea is just a rumour
Over the last week there have been reports that Chelsea would like to hire Rijkaard as the London club’s coach. “I’ve heard those rumours,” he said, “and they don’t bother me because that’s all they are, just rumours.”

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