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12.09.2008 21:10

Guardiola feels team is good spirit

David Puig

Although he hasn’t been able to work with most his players, Guardiola feels his team is ready to take on Racing Santander. He also discussed Messi and the Copa Catalunya.

After almost two weeks with fifteen players away on international duty, FC Barcelona coach, Josep Guardiola, feels his team is the right frame of mind to face Racing Santander and get their first league win. “I have seen the team to be in good spirit” he said. We have hardly been able to train but when you work for Barça you know you will get that and so it’s no excuse. The players’ desire to win will lead us to success.”

Messi and Márquez

jam_image_73566.jpgGuardiola has picked Messi but dropped Márquez. The Argentinian is tired but enthusiastic, while the Mexican returned to Barcelona after taking a few knocks. “Messi is tired but in high spirit and keen to play. On Saturday, we’ll see if he’s up to playing. Márquez has taken some knocks and considering his age and history I preferred to rest him” said Guardiola.

The Barça manager also discussed Maradona’s controversial comments about the way Messi plays. “Messi is generous and daring and likes to take on responsibilities when things aren’t going well. I am sure Maradona and Argentina are delighted they have Messi to defend their national colours.”

Racing no easy game

QM3D1468.jpgGuardiola spoke about the main characteristics of the way Racing Santander play, with good defending and rigorous tactics. He reckons López Muñiz’s Racing “is a well organised side in defence and has kept to same rigour as last season under Marcelino. They are used to playing in small spaces and that means we will have to be very patient. Compared with Numancia, Racing play with their defensive line much further forward. We will have to attack if we want to win the game.”

“It was unfair on Barça”

QM3D1594.jpgThe Barça manager said he was sorry to see there was so much criticism of what happened in the semi final of the Copa Catalunya: “I was sorry about the controversy. I know what playing on artificial turf means and the risks that can cause to the players. We only had five first team players and I can’t risk things given the fixtures we have ahead. I am sorry if the people of Sant Carles were offended. If they want to see Barça and Espanyol play in the Copa Catalunya with all their players, they will have to change the dates. I propose it should be played during the preseason. With the new signings, there would be plenty of media interest and everybody would be able to see our first team players in action. I think it has been unfair on the club and there is no suspicion that Barça do not help when needed.”
Guardiola feels team is good spirit
Shakhtar march on in the cup
Shakhtar Donetsk, Barça’s opponent in the group stages of the Champions League, beat Illychivets 3-0 in the round of 32 in the Ukrainian Cup. Jadson (min. 40), Pereira (min. 70) and Adriano (min. 81) scored the Shakhtar goals.

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