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26.08.2007 21:49

Rijkaard: “It’s the first match, not the end of the world”

Jordi Clos

At the post-match press conference Rijkaard insisted that the league programme had only just begun but admitted that his players had failed to take their chances: “We lacked the freshness to make the difference”.

Frank Rijkaard was disappointed with the goalless draw in the Sardinero but not worried: “Obviously we always look for a win but we lacked the freshness to make the difference”. The Dutch coach encouraged his players at the end of the match and insisted to reporters that away game were always difficult: “Away from home it’s always complicated. Racing defended with almost all their players and it was difficult for us. That’s the way it is. The message is clear – nothing’s easy”.

It’s just the beginning

Despite the disappointment of the draw against Racing, Rijkaard insisted that it was too early to start worrying: “It’s the first match, not the end of the world. We have to keep on working to build our confidence”.

Few chances

Frank Rijkaard played down the importance of the chances that Racing had, especially in the first half, but admitted that Barça must improve in attack: “We have to work on our mobility. If we don’t, our game will be predictable”.

The changes

When asked about the second half substitutions, Rijkaard revealed that he had brought on Henry for Messi “in order to get more penetration – he and Eto’o have that”. He also admitted that he had reacted to the sending off of Polish striker Smolarek by bringing on Deco for Touré Yaya while Márquez had been introduced to improve Barça’s distribution of the ball.
Rijkaard: “It’s the first match, not the end of the world”
Morning training
The Barça players left Santander immediately after the match and will report for training tomorrow morning (Monday).

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