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01.10.2007 13:03

Txiki wants full squad

Berta Brau

Txiki Begiristain made it clear ahead of tomorrow’s game against Stuttgart that it’s vital that the squad gets back up to full strength as soon as possible: “so that we can be as competitive as possible and make our performances as good as possible”.

The squad flew out to Germany on Monday morning for their second UCL group match and Txiki reminded everyone just where the team’s objectives lie :”we want to be top of our group and to do that, away games are important - this being our first is especially so”.

Top spot vital

For Txiki: “we’ve had experience of finishing first and second in the group stages and we’ve got through the first knock out stage when we’ve finished top and been knocked out when we haven’t” Home advantage is clearly going to count for a lot in the knock out and Txiki insisted: “we’ll have to fight to finish top and we need to maintain the momentum after the Lyon win with a good result in Stuttgart”.

Ronaldinho back

fcb-bilbao_x4x.jpgAfter missing the last three games, the Brazilian superstar is backing the reckoning for the Stuttgart match and Begiristain believes: “if he’s fully fit, he may play. We mustn’t forget all he’s done – he’s the world’s best, a World Cup winner and a player whose had us all drooling with some of his football and I know he’s capable of doing it all again when he’s back to full fitness. We’ve been protecting him, so that he can get back to his best, that’s what we do with any injured player. Now he just needs to play and start turning it on again”.

Toure out

WEB_01.jpgThe flip side of the coin is the injury to Toure Yaya, which will keep him out for about a month: “Ronaldinho’s back, but then we go and lose Toure, there are positive and negative things. Toure had become a vital player in the balance of the team, but we have similar players in the squad who I am sure will do as well. The sooner the boss can count on a full squad, then the quicker we’ll become more competitive and start o improve all round. We need to look at the group as a whole, not the individuals, it’s about those who are available doing their best and playing good football, be that with or without Ronaldinho”.
Txiki wants full squad

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Injuries down to fixture glut
Txiki reckons the number of muscle injuries the squad have been suffering is a natural result of today’s football: “the rest of the teams suffer the same as us. We all have problems with the busy calendar; it’s down to the people who make the fixture lists, the friendlies and the international dates. We’re really wearing the players down, but it’s not the trainers, it’s the fixture lists”.

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