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09.09.2007 13:59

Rijkaard: "It all looks very positive"

David Puig

Frank Rijkaard is looking ahead to the new season with a renewed sense of excitement and expectancy and the hope that last year's mistakes are not repeated. He is also pleased with the rise of the club's youngsters and the professionalism of his team

The Dutch coach has revealed that he has been pleased with the way things have started this year for the Blaugrana. In an interview with Spanish news agency EFE, the Barça trainer talked about his feelings at the beginning of the term: "There are new elements, new ways of doing things that are working very well," he explained. "During pre-season I have seen a good attitude from everyone and the arrival of young players like Giovani (Dos Santos) Bojan (Krkic) and Marc Crosas have to be taken into account. With everything added together, it all looks very positive."

The same winning philosophy

A club like FC Barcelona has to maintain its status at the highest level, according to Rijkaard: "My task continues to be one of working as hard as I can," he continued. We have the squad to be successful and for the club and our supporters it is important that we are always at the top. One season you can win three or four trophies and the next year only one but you always have to be up there competing and giving your best. You have to maintain the philosophy that the board and the technical director want and to always be there competing for honours."

Giovani and Bojan

gio-esp7.jpgThe rise to prominence of Dos Santos and Krkic is something else that has pleased Rijkaard. Looking at the Mexican starlet, the coach said: "He has improved a lot physically. We knew about what he was capable of last season, but now I think he is much stronger. He is a great talent and has improved even more." On Krkic, the Dutchman admitted that the maturity of the 17-year-old was unusual. "I have seen Bojan during pre-season and we have seen very early on what a talent he has. He has not had much of a break and that is maybe why in some games has tired, but for the way he reads the game and his decision making ability shows what a mature player he is for his age."

Touré and Deco

Reflecting on the new arrivals to the club over the summer, Rijkaard highlighted Touré Yaya. "He has made a great start," the coach said. "He has adapted very well and I am happy for both him and the team. I do not know yet whether his arrival was the most important, but we have to remember that with other players, like (Rafa) Márquez, Edmílson or (Thiago) Motta, in his position we won trophies."

archivar_04.jpgRijkaard was also keen to focus on Deco: "He is in great form," he continued. "In the last game against Athletic Bilbao he helped give us rhthym. He is still a very important player for us and gives us something special that not everyone is able to do."

Down to experience

Looking back is not one Rijkaard's favourite pass-times as he prefers to talk about the present and the future and he was not prepared to reflect on last year for too long. "When happened last season now forms part of our experience and we have to look forward," he said. "I believe that failed on too many occasions, although I do not believe that we gave the league away as we never had it to begin to give away. The most difficult moment was against Getafe in the Copa del Rey. That affected us a lot."
Rijkaard: “It all looks very positive“
"I have not seen much of Madrid this season"
When asked about the new-look Real Madrid and their start to the season, Rijkaard had little to say: "I think that they have started well," he explained. "They have done well so far, but their is a long way to and we all have to work ahead. I do not think that they will be our only rivals in the fight fot the league, although I have to admit that I have not seen much of them this season."

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