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31.01.2009 14:43

Guardiola: “This is a key game”

Berta Brau

Pep Guardiola was keen to emphasise the fact that he believes that the game against Racing Santander on Sunday will be difficult. “If we are not prepared to work hard then we will not win,” he said.

Shortly before leaving to travel to Cantabria, the Barça boss spoke to the media and explained that he was very pleased with the way that the first month of the New Year had gone, but now wanted to make a good start to February in order to continue the team’s outstanding form. “January has been a great month and I think that we did very well throughout it,” he continued. “February will be set up by what happens in the game tomorrow. If we can record a good result then we can look to the next games feeling confident.”

A key game

“This is a key game that can point towards what could happen in the league and it is crucial for them too, but we are going there to win,” Guardiola then explained. “We want to make a good start to the second half of the league season and it would be a step forward and an important win for morale that will, among other things, allow us to compose ourselves mentally.”

Prepared to work hard

QM3D1034.jpgIf we are not prepared to work hard then we will not win,” the trainer then stated as he believes strongly that the team’s next opponents are a solid unit that will be difficult to play against. “They have a good defensive structure and players that do well from free-kicks around the area,” Guardiola said. “Racing is one of the teams that can create chances without playing that well as they are strong in the air in particular.”

Nikola Zigic is one player that Barcelona’s defenders will have to watch and Guardiola knows that. “It is not easy to defend against him, but we have to try and keep the ball away from our area because there are not many like him in the due to his height (2.02m).

Different situations

“The way that we cope with different situations allow us to learn from them for future games and it shows that we can do it, but it guarantees nothing,” the coach commented. “We are playing well, we are difficult to score again but also we can lose. What we have done up until now does not mean that we will easily beat Racing.”
Guardiola: “This is a key game”

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Little time to prepare
Pep Guardiola has not had much time to prepare for the game against Racing Santander after Barça played in the Copa del Rey on Thursday. “On Friday those that started against Espanyol ha a recovery session and the rest worked on an intense programme,” the coach said “This Saturday we have had a short training session that was also intense in order to conserve energy. After that, the coaching staff prepared for the game and worked on certain things with all the players. The break that we took in training is necessary when we are playing so many games close together.”

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