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31.10.2007 14:53

Rijkaard calls for extra motivation

David Puig

Rijkaard is confident that the absence of Henry and Abidal must motivate his side to try even hard in the game against Valladolid. The Barça coach also talked about Ronie's future and aired his thought on how the team will win in the José Zorrilla.

Henry and Abidal were ruled out of the midweek encounter after picking up ankle injuries during the win over Almería at the weekend and Rijkaard is hopeful that his side can step up without them. "They will be missed," he said. "Henry scored against Almería and created a lot chances while Abidal always to play, but neither are 100 per cent fit. Henry suffered a knock in a place where he already had some bother while Abidal has a sprain. It is a shame, but it has to motivate the rest of the team to obtain a good result."

Valladolid unity

Valladolid will offer a stern test despite not having won at home so far this season and Rijkaard highlighted their unity as a key strength. "They are a well organised team that are capable of pressurising the opposition in their own half or in the midfield. They always play as a unit. I do not know how they will line up against us, but I know that always play as a team."

Ronaldinho hopes

qm3d0877.jpgRonaldinho was a key topic in the press conference and Rijkaard was keen to state his belief that the Brazilian would soon be back to his best and would remain at the club for a long time. "He is working very hard and training well," the coach said. "I have complete faith in him and hope he stays at Barça for many years to come. I do not like talking about any one player in particular as it is better to look at the team, but Ronaldinho has given this club so much and the fans still see him as a player that can make a difference and that is key for the side."

We will maintain our style

After attempting to inject some more directness into the team's play against Almería to being out the best in Henry, Rijkaard was asked if Barça will revert to their usual style as the forward is unavailable. "It is more important that the team maintain their style of play whoever plays," he continued. "The aim is to make use of the space that our opponent leaves in defence when they lose possession by playing directly. That does not mean that we are giving up our style, which is based on control of the ball and on not alowing the other team any space."
Rijkaard calls for extra motivation

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"The Barça must be the model"
After Bernd Schuster compared his Real Madrid team to Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, Rijkaard was asked who he would compare Barça to. "I would like others to compare themselves to Barcelona and not the other way around," he commented. I want Barça to be the model and I do not think we can be compared to anyone particularly."

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