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18.09.2007 20:43

Rijkaard wants unity and confidence

Vanessa Forns

Ahead of Barça’s Champions League 2007-08 debut against Olympique Lyon, Frank Rijkaard has asked for everybody to stick together and be confident about the game.

It hasn’t been the best start to the season, just one home win and two away draws, but the Barça manager wants to make sure that the players and fans stay united, and also called upon the media for their support. Frank Rijkaard knows that the build-up to such a crunch match as Wednesday’s against Olympique Lyon at the Camp Nou is not the time for stirring up trouble, and also asked people to stop referring to last season.

Call for unity

“I get the feeling that both people and the press are still talking about last year. The team is working well and I sense a good dynamic. It is as if people want Barça to lose or draw, and the squad don’t deserve that. Every season there are moments when you have to suffer, and that is when we need our fans more than ever, because if we are united, we are stronger.” Strong words from the Barça manager.

Frank Rijkaard feels that it is more important for his team to put on an impressive performance than the actual result. The Dutch manager of FC Barcelona commented that “at the start of the season we have not been up to the tasks set before us and we need to work on an image of being hard-working and united.”

International commitments

WEB_34.jpgFrank Rijkaard was never a big one for making excuses, but he did feel FC Barcelona were at a disadvantage before their 0-0 draws with Racing and Osasuna, because “they came straight after a large number of our players had been away on international duty, and that does affect things…I’m not looking for excuses but these are things that have to be taken into account. Some players have travelled a lot, and that takes away their strength and energy.”

How to beat Olympique

Going back to the Champions League debut, Frank Rijkaard feels his team needs “desire, eagerness, companionship, unity and help” to beat the opposition, Olympique Lyon, “who are strong and can make things difficult.” Speaking about the French side and the fact that they are better prepared at this stage of the season, the manager said “that’s something to be taken into account, but at the same time we can hardly say that we aren’t into our rhythm. That is no excuse, we have to make sure we are prepared to play against a great side.”
Rijkaard wants unity and confidence

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Barça favourites?
Both Olympique Lyon boss Alain Perrin and his player Juninho have agreed that FC Barcelona are the favourites for the game at the Camp Nou. Frank Rijkaard is not a fan of being handed the favourites tag and added that “it is always important to get a good result out of home games. It will be an interesting game against a good side, and hope the crowd enjoys the show” he said.

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