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09.12.2007 23:58

Rijkaard praises players’ attitude

Anna Segura

Although the boss accepted his team hadn’t put in a “brilliant” performance, he was still well pleased with his players’ hard work in turning round the result and taking an important three points.

In his post match press conference, Rijkaard praised the team’s attitude in coming back from the shock of Cristian’s early strike and claimed: “this was a great morale boosting victory for us. We got some injured players back and the lads showed great character in a hard working effort to come back from being a goal down”.

On the right track

Rijkaard also insisted that things were on the up with the return of his injured stars: “we’re working hard and getting players like Eto’o and Deco back means we have options to improve and have a good season. We’re on the right track”.

Eto’o’s return to the team after his long lay off saw him put in 64 minutes before being replaced by Bojan and Rijkaard revealed that the change had been agreed beforehand. Deco’s entry in the second half triggered some positional changes, with Puyol moving to right back and Marquez dropping back into central defence and Rijkaard explained the changes were made to look for “more depth and speed”.

Deportivo “well organised”

Deportivo belied their lowly position in the table at the Nou Camp and Rijkaard admitted: “we knew that they were well organised and their early goal made things tough for us. It made it hard for us to get our game really going”.

Ronaldinho, Sylvinho and Bojan

Frank Rijkaard also praised Sylvinho, who had to step in at the last moment for Abidal, who went down with gastroenteritis and ended up playing the full 90 minutes: “he did the job we asked him to and I’d like to congratulate him for coming in when we needed him”. The boss also praised Ronaldinho, who he reckoned was” in the game”, and Bojan, who he reckoned: “was important for us in the second half –he drew the defence to the front post in the second goal. It might have looked like a simple goal, but the forwards’ movements to create space was vital”.
Rijkaard praises players’ attitude
Training on Monday
The squad are back in training on Monday morning at 11.00 to prepare their Champions League game against Stuttgart on Wednesday night.

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