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16.09.2008 23:43

Guardiola: “Winning always helps”

Vanessa Forns

Despite the satisfaction of winning the first game in the Champions League, and although “winning always helps” to keep people calm, Guardiola is staying prudent and merely thinking about the next game on Sunday.

“I am very happy to have won. I can’t deny that it was an important win, and winning always helps. But there is no time think. I am sure that things will be a bit more relaxed for a few days but there is another game on Sunday and we have to keep working”, said the Barça boss.

Impressed by Sporting Clube

Josep Guardiola also had some words of praise for Barça’s first opponent in this group stage of the Champions League, a side he has nothing but respect for. “I always hope to see the best of an opponent. Sporting Clube have a great team and deserve my respect. We have beaten a great team”.

Keeping the structure

fcb-sp.lisboa_x22x.jpgThe Barça manager felt that unlike in their first two league outings, tonight the players stayed in the right positions throughout. “Tonight we managed to maintain our structure” he said. “We didn’t get caught out of position. Of course, when it became 2-1 there had been four minutes or so when there had been a certain lack of control, but this time, when they scored, we didn’t become disorganised”.

Nevertheless, when it came to Sporting’s only goal of the night, Josep Guardiola admitted that “we didn’t defend well from a set piece. We have to improve in that respect”.

Versatile players

The Barça manager explained his decision to play Puyol on the left of defence as being because “I wanted the team to bring the ball out from the right. The variations are tactical matters. I have good players that can play in different positions.”
Guardiola: “Winning always helps”
Laporta: “An important and necessary win”
Joan Laporta was delighted that FC Barcelona had beaten Sporting 3-1. The Barça president responded to the opening day win in the Champions League group stage by saying “this Tuesday we have played with the same intensity as we did on Sunday, the difference being that the ball went in. It was important to get the group off to a winning start, because that boosts the players’ confidence. It was all the result of a job well done”.

Laporta added that Pep Guardiola “is creating a very good balance in the team, it is very well compensated.” And he also said that he was convinced that “the fans want things to go well and I am sure that they will enjoy themselves this year”.

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