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10.04.2009 14:23

Guardiola: “The challenge is to keep our shape”

Vanessa Forns

With the season drawing to a close and Barcelona still in the hunt for three trophies, Josep Guardiola is convinced that the most important thing is for the team to keep its shape.

With the Champions League quarter finals off to the perfect start, a place in the Copa del Rey final sorted and a six-point lead in La Liga with nine games left to play, Barça are receiving nothing but praise. With Bayern so coolly dealt with on Wednesday, the Catalans can now turn their attention back to the league. There are still 27 points to play for, so nothing is decided yet. “We have to win a title, it would make no sense otherwise” said their manager today.

“We are not unstoppable”

QM3D5081.jpgJosep Guardiola claims that the team is now in a position where “every win brings us a lot but every defeat takes it away … the next game is the most important … it’s the test we have to keep passing right up until the end of the season. The players have seen what they have to do to be competitive. The question is whether they can do that in every game and every competition. If we can, we’ll win, but if we can’t, we’ll find it very hard. The challenge is to keep our shape. Teams can beat us, we aren’t unstoppable”.

Dangers of Recreativo

So next up, it’s Recreativo Huelva. Guardiola noted that “they have the fifth best defensive record away from home … they work very well on defensive matters.” The manager feels Barça must avoid “letting the game get slow and relaxed”. And he also knows that it will be an unusual situation, being right in the middle of Easter week, “when so many people are away on holiday”.

Plenty of points left to win

QM3D5125.jpgOn Saturday, FC Barcelona have the chance to move up to 72 points in the table. “With eight games until the end of the season, we have the chance to win three very important points. We have stay dynamic for all 90 minutes. We clearly still have to win a lot of points before we can say we are champions; there are still a lot of things to do. This will be a good test; it will show us what kind of level we are at”.

Real Madrid’s form

Guardiola has noticed that their most immediate rival in the league, Real Madrid, “have won 40 of their last 42 points, that’s amazing”. But that is just further inspiration for Barça. “It helps us not to drop of the pace, to keep our shape”.
Guardiola: “The challenge is to keep our shape”

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Congratulations for Regal Barça
On Thursday, Barça’s basketball team qualified for the Final Four of the Euroleague in Berlin. Josep Guardiola did not want to overlook Regal FC Barcelona’s achievement against Tau in his press conference. “I want to congratulate the basketball team because they’re an excellent team. It was a good game, and they won against a very tough opponent. You could see how the good mood at the club is reflected in the fans, you could tell that on Thursday at the Palau Blaugrana. There was an excellent bond between the players and the crowd. Let’s see if we can imitate that”.

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