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21.04.2009 14:26

“Now is the time for the Nou Camp”

Vanessa Forns

Barca have just tour more matches to play at the Nou Camp this season: three league games and the Champions League Semi Final first leg against Chelsea. Ahead of these four decisive games Pep Guardiola insisted: “now is the time for the Nou Camp”.

Speaking to the press this lunchtime, Guardiola called on the Barca fans to come along and make the difference in the games remaining at the Nou Camp, starting with Wednesday’s game against Seville: “this is the moment for the fans to help us. There are four games left and I don’t think we can we can win the league or the Champions if we don’t do the business in these games. Our chances of winning both titles depend on these home games now”.

Fans vital

Guardiola went on: “the fans have given us their support, but now we need more. This is the time for the fans to make their mark. We are looking for more people at the ground for these games. We need the fans more than ever. We are a better team when we play in front of a full house and now it’s up to the fans to come and lend a hand”.

Obviously the Champions League is on the horizon, but Pep is keeping his sights fixed on Wednesday night’s game with Seville: “that’s all I’m thinking of right now – how we are going to play, how to beat them. Then we’ve got the trip to Mestalla – I’m not looking beyond that as yet, just the next game”.


21-04-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_06.jpgAs to Seville, Guardiola showed his usual humility: “they are always dangerous. They are third in the league and have more points now than they did last year. They have players of great quality; they are strong upfront, fast on the counter and have a lot of experience. They may have to play a reserve keeper playing, but he’s fast and very agile. I’m expecting Seville at their very best”.


Asked about rotations in the team ahead of the frenetic schedule ahead, Guardiola insisted: “I’m counting on all of my players. They all need to be ready to perform when I need them. Given that, and II accept that I’m very lucky to be able to count on such a great squad, I’ll be picking my teams to deal with each game on its merit”.


Lionel Messi missed training today with a stomach bug, but Guardiola insisted: “there’s no problem with Leo, he had a bad night and after the doctor saw him we decided he should rest. Tomorrow he’ll be back and we’ll see how he is”.

“Now is the time for the Nou Camp”

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“As a rule, I won’t talk about refs”
The boss also made clear his attitude towards the referees: “I’ve done 102 press conferences so far and I’ve never spoken about the ref. That’s my rule: don’t make comments about the referee. If we win or lose, that’s down to us. However, not saying anything does not mean I’m in agreement whatever happens. I’m behind my players and I’ll defend them. I don’t want any type of confrontation. We are in the position we are in now thanks to our own efforts, I don’t like it when people say it’s all down to how the refs treat us”.

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