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07.08.2007 17:06

Rijkaard: “It was a good test”

Anna Segura

The Barça boss was happy with his team’s display against Yokohama F. Marinos, and understood that the atmosphere was against them and the opposition was in better physical shape.

FC Barcelona beat Yokohama F. Marinos for the first time in three recent attempts, and Frank Rijkaard admitted that in “in games when we are not at full fitness we tend to seek a good result and in that sense the team performed well. They played with the mentality of wanting to win the game. The team was very much in the game and played seriously in order to get the job done”.

Yokohama fitter

Yokohama, he said, “were fitter than we were and that meant we had to suffer a lot out there. I liked Barça’s attitude because we played as a team.” But he added that “we are still not on full form, just working to get there. This game was a good test.”

Starting forwards

Against Yokohama, Rijkaard played all three of Henry, Eto'o and Ronaldinho at the same time, and although none of them scored he felt “the team first needs to improve physically and then in a football sense. We need to take things step by step, gradually improving.” Expectations are high but Rijkaard believes “people want big things but I think they made a huge effort and I congratulate them for that”.

Henry and Giovani

Two names to come up in the press conference were those of Thierry Henry and Giovani Dos Santos. On the Frenchman, Rijkaard said “he needs to get into his rhythm and improve physically”.

But he was full of praise for Giovani Dos Santos, saying “he is our secret weapon. He went onto the pitch, scored a goal, hit the post and moved about very well.” Rijkaard is pleased because “the more quality players we have the better our chances are, for example, when we get injuries. He works hard, he is strong and he can help the team at any time”.
Rijkaard: “It was a good test”

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Fitness is the target
Speaking to the press, Frank Rijkaard said that “we need to play aggressively in the opposition’s half, creating pressure. We are working on that little by little but we need to be fit enough to be able to do it.” He concluded by saying “what we are doing now is playing, winning, getting fit and giving minutes to the players.”

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