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17.03.2008 13:53

Xavi: “We’ve got to buck up “

David Puig

Xavi Hernàndez admits that Barça have let too many chances to catch up with the leader get away from them, but he says that the team is determined to battle it out in all three competitions until the end.

Xavi Hernàndez regrets that the team have given up so many opportunities to make up ground on the League leader. Even though the draw at Almería means that Barça have cut the gap with Real Madrid by a point, Xavi admits that that isn’t enough: “We have the feeling that we haven’t made the most of a great opportunity to catch Madrid. In the last three games we’ve only picked up one point and that makes it really tough to get back into the race. But we’ve got to keep going and buck up our ideas. From now on we can’t let slip any more chances. The players are motivated and determined to battle it out, not only in the League but also in the Champions League and the Cup.”

“Sometimes we lack maturity”

In both of the last two away matches, at Vicente Calderón and in Almería, Barça has dropped two points after being ahead. Xavi thinks that the team lacked a bit of maturity at some points in the games: “We have to be able to control games and know how to play when we’re in front away from home. Sometimes we should cool things down a bit and control things a bit more. We have to be more mature and more competitive in some aspects of our game, such as at set-pieces where we conceded two goals against Almería.”

The Cup and the Champions League are different

Barça is one game away from reaching the final of the Spanish Cup and has the chance of getting through the quarter finals of the Champions League against Schalke 04. Xavi appreciates this but thinks that they are different competitions from the League: “In the Cup and the Champions League everything depends on the form you have when you go into the game and also on luck. There’s no room for error and that means we have to make that extra bit of effort that maybe we just aren’t doing in the League. We think that there’s still time to turn things round if we draw or lose, and perhaps that’s where we’re going wrong.”
Xavi: “We’ve got to buck up “
Watch out for Villarreal
Xavi Hernàndez warned about the threat posed by Villarreal, third in the table at two points behind Barça and nine behind Madrid: “They could be the dark horses of this campaign. They’re playing well, getting good results and they’re only two points behind. Anything can happen but we’re only looking forwards, thinking about winning the games that are left and cutting the gap with Madrid.”

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