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15.09.2007 13:48

Rijkaard: "We are ready"

Sandra Sarmiento

Frank Rijkaard is confident that his FC Barcelona squad are ready for the exciting encounter against Osasuna in the Reyno de Navarra on Sunday evening as he explained: "We are prepared, we know what the atmosphere will be like".

Following the break from league action last weekend due to the international commitments, Barça return to action this weekend at a ground that does not hold many fond memories in recent seasons. Rijkaard is keen for his team to put on an entertaining performance, but the three points are even more important. "There is no pressure, just motivation," he said. "A player needs the tension and be able to always cope with the expectations because that is something that can be used positively."

Osasuna rested

rijkaard_01.jpgDuring the break for international games Rijkaard has had to work with a skeletal squad, as only five first team regulars stayed behind and were able to train with the Dutchman. Because of that, the Barça boss has only had a couple of days in which to truly prepare for this encounter. Osasuna coach, José Ángel Ziganda, has seen his side only play one game this season as their encounter with Sevilla was postponed after the death of Antonio Puerta. He has therefore had ten days in which to ensure Osasuna are prepared. "We have experienced this situation many times before," Rijkaard said. "It is an advantage for any team to be prepared. We have had less time, but our duty is to everything that we can to obtain a good result. We know that they will pressure us and will look to use the counter-attack to hurt us. We have to be ready for anything."

Giovani and Bojan are ready

rijkaard_07.jpgBojan Krkic and Giovani Dos Santos have both been included in the squad for the trip to Pamplona. While Dos Santos played in the last league game against Athletic Bilabo, Krkic will be experiencing an official game at the highest level for the first time. With Leo Messi reporting back from international duty with an injury, Rijkaard called upon both youngsters for the game. "They are ready," he stated, before responding to being asked whether either would start in the match. "You know my philosophy, but if we need them then I will have no problem."
Rijkaard: “We are ready“

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No risking Messi
A calf strain in his right leg has caused Messi to miss the trip, but Rijkaard insisted that the Argentinian forward was not injured. "He is fine," the coach said. "He is a little stiff and we did not want to take any risks. For that reason the doctors decided that he should rest."

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