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01.05.2009 16:34

Guardiola: “I want pressure”

Edgar Fornós

Josep Guardiola has said the pressure on him and his team ahead of the game with Real Madrid are just what they need, because the game is going to be like a final and needs an ambitious approach.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Barça manager said “I want pressure. If we want to be champions we have to win at the Bernabéu. We have the chance to settle the title”.

Guardiola is well aware that this game could have huge bearing on the outcome of the league. “The game against Madrid will decide a lot. All the pressure is on us because we are the championship leaders and know that if we win there, the title will be very near. I am not going to go along with those who say it doesn’t matter. It does matter, and a lot. We need this pressure. Tomorrow is a final, and finals are all about ambition, and we have to think about the little details”.

“We have to be ourselves”

01-05-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_01.jpgGuardiola has every faith in his players and said “I will be happy if, once the game is over, I get the feeling that we have been ourselves, whatever the actual score”.

“Madrid aren’t here by chance”

He is also aware that the all-whites are on spectacular form. “Madrid aren’t here by chance. Under other circumstances, we’d only really be thinking about London, but they are very close behind us and we have to treat this game like a final.” Asked what tactics he plans to use against Real Madrid, Josep Guardiola said he has no doubt the approach “will be brave, because we’re obliged to get a good result to carry on having options. I will have to be very careful … There is a reason why they have got so many points” he said.

Moving on to analyse the side coached by Juande Ramos, the Barça manager does not agree with those that don’t rate them that highly. “They have their virtues, lots of them. You can’t get so many points if you’re playing badly. They do things well, like their fast switches of play. This is an odd year. Barça would be champions if it wasn’t for such a strong Madrid, and it is the same the other way round”.

“The team’s doing well”

01-05-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_04.jpgGuardiola decided to give his players Thursday off. It was not the first time he has done that two days before a game. He explained this by saying “it is not physical tiredness that worries me as much as mental fatigue, and so after the week we have had, I preferred to let them disconnect a bit and therefore be that little bit fresher against Madrid. They have had a good rest and that’s great for Saturday’s match”.
Guardiola: “I want pressure”

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20 years since debut
Guardiola played his first game for Barça exactly 20 years ago, in a friendly in Banyoles. The Barça manager joked when asked if he had imagined all those years ago where he would be now. “Oh, yes, that day I knew full well that I’d win titles with the first team and now be manager and in this situation” he said, with a hint of irony in his voice.

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