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03.03.2009 15:00

Guardiola: “I sense we’ll be champions”

Berta Brau

The FC Barcelona manager claims to feel “strong, convinced and more optimistic” than ever. Guardiola is sure that the recent losses “are part of the process of fighting for the championship” and has stressed the importance of the Copa del Rey.

“I sense we’ll be champions”. That is how Pep Guardiola has surprised the press today, who have grown so used to his insistence that the team should avoid any euphoria ahead of time. Rather than his typical talk of prudence, he has spoken with an air of confidence and ambition, saying that he is sure his side will win the league title: “We are candidates until the end and I firmly believe we will be champions”.

“I feel strong and convinced”

20-12-08_GUARDIOLA_03.jpgThe manager seems to have no doubt in his mind that his Barça side will have a league title to celebrate at the end the campaign “I feel strong, convinced and more optimistic than ever. I think the defeats were all part of the process, but I understand we have to end this run quickly, which is why the next games are so important.” Guardiola has every faith in his team, saying “their morale, high spirits and enthusiasm have not been affected … things like this are hard in life, but it makes it feel all the better than ever in the end”.

Guardiola’s leadership

03-03-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_05.jpg“I am the leader, they follow me and we will get there”. Guardiola didn’t want to hear his leadership skills coming into question. “I believe strongly in myself and what I’m doing and I’ll press on and face the consequences”. He also added that “I always say what I feel and right now I feel like we will start winning again and gain more of an advantage. We just need to get back the shape and aggression we were showing at the start of the season”.

Importance of the Cup

QM3D1993.jpgEver since it started, Guardiola has underlined the high value he associates to the knockout competition. “We haven’t won the title in recent years, so we are in no position to underestimate the importance of the game”. This is the last step before the final, somewhere Barça have not been for ten years. Guardiola added that “we will go out and attack, to score one or two goals and win the game. We’ll be our old selves again”.

Full squad off to Mallorca

Guardiola is a real squad man, and wants to take everybody with him to Mallorca, even the injured players. That way he can also avoid giving away any clues regarding his starting line-up. Iniesta, who is fit again, will be travelling with the squad. The coach was also asked to comment on Valdés, to which he replied that he has the same confidence as ever in his first choice keeper, but “any of Valdés or Pinto or Jorquera are able to play” if called upon.
Guardiola: “I sense we’ll be champions”

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Eusebio Sacristán to Celta
Pep Guardiola publicly congratulated Eusebio Sacristán, who played alongside him in the Dream Team, on becoming the new manager of Celta Vigo: “I want to congratulate him on finding a coaching job again. I wish him luck and hope it all goes well for him. I am really happy because he’s such a great person”.

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