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19.05.2008 14:40

Ingla: “There has been no negligence”

Vanessa Forns

Marc Ingla denied that there had been any "negligence or self-satisfaction” in the way the football first team has been handled over the season. He defended the record and set out the reasons behind its disappointing results.

The club’s vice-chairman for sport appeared at a press conference with director of football Txiki Begiristain to review the 2007-08 season. Marc Ingla stressed the fact that "there has been no negligence or self-satisfaction” on the part of either him or Begiristain.

In this respect the decisions open to the Board to correct the team’s course in mid-season were to sign players in the January transfer window “right when the team was playing best” or to change the coach which was not taken as “Frank always gave us a better guarantee for short-term results."

"Frank wasn’t able to handle it"

entreno250408_x12x.jpg“We’ve been on top of the first team every day and every week, working with the coaches and discussing how to make progress. In the specific case of the players, we spoke with them and with their agents. We also spoke with the coaching staff and obviously with the manager. Frank wasn’t able to handle it. We believed that he could,” said Marc Ingla.

Last summer the Board had renewed its confidence in the players and coaches who had achieved so much for Barça. “Without wishing to personalise it, the players who we’ve given a second chance to haven’t responded to that trust we put in them last summer and haven’t done what they should have,” said the club’s vice-chairman for sport. “Both of these things are very disappointing.”

Physical training

060508_entrenament_x1x.JPGOne of the aspects which has been monitored most closely is the physical training of the squad. Here Marc Ingla highlighted some things which have been done to improve it: “At certain times of year we’ve had double training sessions while on other occasions we’ve put more stress on resting, for example by coming back the day after a game. And we’ve put greater emphasis on personal daily training plans.”

Medical Services and injuries

The club’s vice-chairman for sport pointed out that this season due to Euro 2008 the team has played the same number of games as in the previous campaign, but in a month less. “In total we’ve had 42 injuries, 20 on muscles and the other 22 traumatic. We are still below the average on UEFA’s injury rate ranking.”

“We are all responsible”

inglatxiki5.jpgMarc Ingla said that the entire club bore part of the blame for an unsatisfactory season: “We are all responsible. The players, because they didn’t get the results; the coaches because on certain occasions they haven’t been able to manage the games; and the technical staff and the board because we haven’t been able to change things round at certain times.”

Marc Ingla pointed out that “last summer we took decisions that led to great expectations which in the end were not met”, and publicly apologised to members and fans alike for this. According to the club’s vice-chairman for sport, two seasons “in which titles have slipped through our fingers” mean that the first team has always been on a razor’s edge between success and failure. In Ingla’s view all this has contributed to the fact that everyone to do with the club has become more anxious.

The road to different competitions

QM3D9898.jpgAfter highlighting the first team’s performance in both the Spanish Cup and in the Champions League, Marc Ingla said that the side’s weaknesses were most apparent in the League. “In some games there’s been a lack of confidence and character, a lack of leadership to turn matches around. We haven’t been helped by injuries either or by things like the African Cup of Nations,” he said.

The team’s form

As for the team’s form, the vice-chairman for sport said that “we just haven’t been consistent enough”. Ingla thinks that the side experienced major ups and downs over the course of the season, especially after the defeat away at Atlético de Madrid. “We have seen some passages of good play in important games and some very intense periods when we didn’t concede but also others when we couldn’t score, when we’ve been very vulnerable and when we’ve lacked mental strength.”
Ingla: “There has been no negligence”
Discipline and internal codes
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