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30.08.2007 14:04

Inter win boosts squad’s confidence

Miriam Nadal

Xavi Hernandez reckons Wednesday night’s win over Inter will be a big confidence booster for the squad, who Xavi admits, are carrying a lot of expectations into the new season.

Xavi was upbeat about the win in the 42nd Joan Gamper Trophy, claiming: “the fans expect a lot of us and we know we didn’t get the result in Santander at the weekend, but even though it was in many ways just a friendly and Inter didn’t bring their strongest squad, we did a good job. The pressure we applied in their half was what winning teams show –that win will give us confidence for Sunday”.

Gamper in mourning

RP300807_x3x.jpgWednesday’s game was marked by the death of Antonio Puerto and Xavi admitted the club had considered the idea of calling off the match: ”first off we thought of postponing the acts connected with the trophy and maybe even the match itself. We weren’t really up for a game after we received the news, but the board’s decision to suspend all the pre-match activity and go ahead with the game was correct. We paid homage to Antonio by playing , which I think is what he would have wanted”. Xavi went on to explain that the decision to come out onto the pitch wearing Puerta’s number 16 shirt was one the squad themselves took , as was their decision to cut back on the celebrations for winning the trophy.

Xavi also commented on the dangers of the kind of terrible accident that Puerta suffered, concluding: “you can’t do anything about it –we’re very fit and well trained people and we are constantly having tests, but this is such a shocking thing, there’s no clue as to what’s going to happen”.

Plenty of pressure

As to Sunday’s result in Santander, Xavi admitted:” there were a lot of expectations placed on us and a lot of pressure. The club’s made a great effort to improve the squad and we now need to show that we are up to the challenge”.

Giovani and Bojan

As a veteran in the squad and a product himself of the club’s youth academy, Xavi’s opinion on Barca’s latest young sensations - Giovani Dos Santos and Bojan Krkic were also sought after by the media in today’s press conference. The Catalan midfielder reckons:” they are really not the typical products of the youth teams –they tend to be defenders or midfield players, whilst these two are attackers. Giovani had a great game yesterday and Bojan looked very good in pre-season when he was with us. It’s up to the boss to decide when they’ll be given a chance”.
Inter win boosts squad’s confidence

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