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22.10.2007 11:38

Txiki: “It’ll be a high pressure game”

Vanessa Forns

Just before leaving for Glasgow, Barça’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, assured us that the game against Rangers will be “a high pressure game”.

Begiristain told reporters: “Our aim is to end up being top of the group”. Therefore, a win against Glasgow Rangers - who currently share first place with Barça with six points – would be an important step forward. However, Begiristain knows this will no easy task: “Glasgow Rangers will try and make it physical game and we hope to be up to the task”.

Deco injury blow

Deco has joined the already uncomfortably long list of players sidelined by injury after picking up a leg injury against Villarreal. Initial estimates suggest he will be out about five weeks. Begiristain told us: “He was in form, very motivated and is a greater recoverer of the ball in midfield (however) we’ve got cover for his place”.

Confidence in the squad

Continuing with the subject of the number of injuries, Begiristain admitted the technical staff were a little worried: “We want the squad to be at full strength as soon as possible. With more players getting injured and others still recovering, right now we’re a bit short. But there’s confidence in the players we have available – they’re also very good”.

As for whether Gudjohnsen will start Tuesday night’s game, Begiristain limited himself to saying: That’s a decision for Frank Rijkaard”. However, he went on to describe the Icelandic striker as “a great professional with a very interesting profile for Barça”.

Injuries and the calendar

Asked if the muscle injuries being suffered by the players are due to the busy schedule of matches, Txiki Begiristain was absolutely clear: “Obviously. It’s a question of effort, of high pressure and demanding matches coming one on top of the other. Apart from the friendlies, they’re playing some really important qualifying matches with the national teams. In short, they’re demanding matches and the players are suffering from this”.

Performance the main thing

Finally, Begiristain referred to recent comments made by Joan Laporta calling for people to respect Ronaldinho’s private life: “People are really on top of the players’ private lives when what they should be evaluating are their performances, not just in the matches, but also in training. There are players that are performing really well and then one night out tarnishes their image”.
Txiki: “It’ll be a high pressure game”

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Mistakes against Villarreal
Txiki Begiristain also gave his own explanations for the defeat against Villarreal: “We lost our balance, principally in the opening ten or fifteen minutes of the match, and from then on everything was more complicated. We have to be strong in defence and maintain our balance”.

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