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08.02.2009 22:21

Guardiola: “The best is yet to come”

Vanessa Forns

As the season wears on, Barça are racking up impressive figures for wins, points and goals, but Guardiola knows that “there’s still a long way to go”. Even so, he thinks “the best is yet to come”.

Tenth win on the bounce in the League. 102 goals in all competitions. 59 out of 66 possible points in the League. These and many other figures show how well the first team is going this season. Careful as ever, Guardiola warns that even though Barça are in the driving seat with 16 games to go, they still might not win the title. “The number of games is getting smaller and a lot can still happen,” he said. “We could still not win the League.”

Under control

However, the Barça coach is very happy with his team’s performance against Sporting Gijon. “I’m very pleased, mostly because of the way we played in the second half,” he said. “We created chances and they had very few. We looked like we had the game under control all the time and we were back in top form.”

Praise for players

At his post-match press conference Guardiola praised Henry, Dani Alves, Eto'o and Cáceres. He said that in Henry’s case, as a top player who’s won a lot of silverware, “he stands out for what he does and the way he works to help the team”. As for Dani Alves, Guardiola pointed out that “he never gets tired and brings a lot of things to the dressing room apart from his skills, such as his enthusiasm”.

Turning to the man who scored Barça’s 100th goal this season, Samuel Eto'o, Guardiola said that “he’s a player who helps us a lot with his goals and sacrifice. There are lots of reasons why things are going well for us, and he’s one of them”. Guardiola also had words for Martín Cáceres: “He’s another big plus point from today. I feel I owe him a bit and to get that reaction from him is great. I’m very pleased with what he’s done this evening.”


As for his midfielders, Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta, Guardiola said that he picked them to make sure that Barça could bring the ball out of defence: “The three are very skilful and highly aware about positional play”.

On the break

Two out of the three goals Barça scored this Sunday came from counterattacks. “Normally we don’t get much chance to attack on the break and we have attackers who are very good at it,” said Guardiola. “You can’t just rely on one way of scoring goals.”

Points at stake

Guardiola was asked whether Madrid might lose heart after seven wins on the trot but still being as far behind Barça as ever. “You might think that, or you might think they’ve won seven in a row and we have to be careful,” he replied. “We’ve got to go on. The number of games is getting smaller but there are still a lot of points at stake”.
Guardiola: “The best is yet to come”
Laporta: “All the players give their all”
After the win over Sporting Gijon by 3-1, Joan Laporta highlighted the team spirit of the squad. “All the players are being used,” he pointed out, “and they are all giving their all. We score goals and concede few, so we’re on the right lines.”

Joan Laporta noted the importance of this Sunday’s win to keep Barça’s lead over the team in second place. “But it’s not over yet and we’ve got to look ahead,” he pointed out. There is the game next weekend against Betis and the Champions League is also about to return “so one of the decisive parts of the season is coming up”.

Finally, Joan Laporta stressed the gate for this evening’s game at Camp Nou of 69,341 fans. “The fans have turned out and got behind the team yet again,” he said.

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