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29.05.2009 19:58

“We’ll respond to the challenge next year”

Jesús Carrillo

Josep Guardiola has reviewed a season that comes to an official end tomorrow. Now is the time to start planning for next year, and he is convinced they are ready for the challenge.

Everybody is aware at after such a success-packed season, that it is going to be hard to live up to the same standards next season. “Everybody will want to beat us, that’s normal. So, what we have to do now is rest, take in what we have done, and start thinking from scratch. The holidays will get us back into shape, and I am sure that we’ll be up to it next season, no doubt about it”.

Immediate planning

Right now Pep Guardiola feels “it is time to enjoy our success, but we’ll have to start planning for next season very soon. We have to speak with some of the players, listen to them, decide what we think and make the corresponding decisions.” One player whose contract is about to end is Sylvinho. “We’ll see, we’ll talk” said the coach. “Now’s the time for a break and after that I’ll give you an answer to this and other individual matters”.

Samuel Eto'o

The African still has one year on his contract and Guardiola said “he is a very important player and all the coaching staff and myself are delighted with his work, his effort and his goals.” Asked whether Eto’o will play in La Coruña, the manager said “I’ll be speaking to him about it over the next few hours.”

Treble winners

Looking ahead to next season, the Barça coach said “we’ll do well, but we’ll be going into it from a very different angle. Last season the situation was very different to what we’ll be getting this time. But we won’t be starting with the official matches we have in August. We have to get things started right from the first pre-season friendlies”.

Immediate planning

“The squad needs to be bigger” stated Guardiola, emphatically. “Next year will be much harder for us. For a start, we could play as many as five more top level matches, the Spanish and European Super Cups, and the World Clubs Cup. And there will also be the African Nations Cup and the World Cup. So, we won’t have much time to work on certain aspects, because we’ll be rushing from one game to the next without time to get much done”.

Careful about Iniesta

Guardiola put on a serious face when asked about Iniesta and his possible participation in the Confederations Cup. “To start with, I have to say that all of the Barcelona players that have to go to South Africa will go, but careful with Andrés Iniesta. He felt the effects of his injury in the final and it is in a very delicate area. If it is not treated properly, it could make things difficult for him, for Barça and for the national team.”
“We’ll respond to the challenge next year”
Game at Riazor
Guardiola said “we’ll see what we do at Riazor. There are a lot of players that need a rest and others that can’t play through injury. This evening we’ll finish discussing it and tomorrow we’ll go there to play and think about playing well, playing seriously.”

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