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08.04.2008 19:50

Rijkaard: “We all have to stay united”

Jaume Marcet

Frank Rijkaard is optimistic about the Champions League quarter final second leg. The Dutchman believes the team is well prepared to beat Schalke and that the fans’ help will be important.

Rijkaard has no doubt how important the fans will be against Schalke 04, and said that they “have to try to play well and get a good result because that way we can achieve what our fans want. If we can offer them a good sensation, then they will be on our side”. For Rijkaard it is important “to all be united”. If the team can put on a convincing display “the atmosphere will work in our favour”.

Same game as ever

080408entrenament_x12x.jpgRijkaard admits that the game with Schalke deserves special attention, as “the score is in our favour, but they will try everything, and they will surely try to change their approach and try to create more pressure up front and look to play more direct football”. But he will not be making any changes to his game plan, saying “we do not need to modify our style, we should play our game.” He described Mirko Slomka’s side as “physically very strong, they have got good results against big teams and have shown they have a good level” .

Puyol and Eto'o

Rijkaard is pleased Puyol is so convinced his team can win the Champions League, and added “we have to believe, I like what the captain said. But now we have to show that on the pitch, and we are very keen to do so”. Asked about Eto'o’s form, the manager pointed out that “in recent games he has performed very well with some important goals and assists”.
Rijkaard: “We all have to stay united”

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Laporta in the dressing room
Rijkaard explained how president Joan Laporta had come down to the dressing rooms to encourage the team ahead of such an important encounter. The Dutchman said “we have a good relationship, I can speak about anything with the president, though mostly football, but the things we say are to be kept between ourselves”.

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