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16.03.2008 21:48

“We’ve got to keep the faith”

Vanessa Forns

Rijkaard isn’t pleased about the draw with Almería, mostly because Barça managed to get ahead twice.

However he is happy with how hard his team worked, especially when playing with ten men after Milito was sent off, and he wants his players to continue to believe in themselves.

After the two all draw away at Almería, Barcelona’s coach says it’s a pity his side couldn’t come away with all three points, especially when they had gone ahead twice in the game. However he was also full of praise for the way Almería played over the 90 minutes, and thinks they got even stronger after Milito was sent off when he saw his second yellow. As for the fact that both of Almeria’s goals came from set-pieces, in Rijkaard’s view “that’s a question of marking.”

“It’s a pity”

“You always have to look at a game as a whole and Almería are playing really well at home. They are pretty direct and physically strong. They are always at you and sometimes we found it hard to keep calm and play positional football,” said Rijkaard. “Yet we still went ahead and normally if you get two away from home that’s enough. It’s a pity. All the players worked their socks off. We just have to keep the faith.”

Praise for Almería

FC Barcelona’s coach was lavish in his praise for the way this Sunday’s rivals played: “The Almería players did a really good job. They played really well and knew exactly what they wanted to do.” In Frank Rijkaard’s view tonight’s game in the Juegos del Mediterráneo stadium was “pretty even” and added that “I think a draw was a fair result.”

Effect of Milito’s sending off

One of the key points in the game was undoubtedly Milito being sent off for two yellow cards. From then on Almería “really started to put on the pressure” while at the same time the Barça players “were working hard to hold out and try and close out the game.”

Only looking at Barça

Finally Frank Rijkaard had no comment to make about the points difference between Barça and Real Madrid but instead preferred to focus exclusively on his own team. “There’s no point in talking about other teams, and I don’t want to say anything else about them. What is obvious is that we have to go on working hard and we aren’t giving up on anything.”
“We’ve got to keep the faith”
Eto'o: 100 games and 72 goals in the League for Barça
Samuel Eto'o played his 100th League match in a Barcelona shirt this Sunday away at Almería. The goal he scored in the Juegos del Mediterráneo Stadium in the 56th minute after a great assist from Henry was his 72nd strike in the competition for FC Barcelona.

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