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18.09.2008 10:55

Abelardo: "Barša will win the League"

Jes˙s Carrillo

Ex Barša man, Abelardo Fernßndez, spoke to www.fcbarcelona.cat about Sundayĺs game in Gijˇn, when Guardiolaĺs side faces Sporting, and about his experiences as reserve team coach for the Asturian club.

Abelardo was sincere and said that on Sunday he will be hoping for a Sporting Gijˇn win, which would be the first of their current league campaign. But he said that the ideal situation this season would be for Barša to win the championship and for Sporting to ensure another season of top flight football.

What does it mean for Gijˇn and the Principality of Asturias the have Sporting back in the first division after a ten year absence?

“Something very big on every level. We have to remember that last year the average attendance at El Molinˇn was nearly 24,000 a game, more than a lot of first division clubs. Almost every week Sporting played away, we took around one thousand fans. Being promoted was good for everyone. For Asturian football, for trade in the area.”

What kind of Sporting Gijˇn will FC Barcelona meet on Sunday?

“The same old team. On that looks to play attacking football, that likes to take the initiative and that plays the ball around well. Manolo Preciado respects all those ideas. We are also trying to more physical and cause problems for teams that way.”

What aims does the club have this season?

ab5.jpg“After ten years in the second division it would be too much to hope we can qualify for the UEFA or anything like that. We have to keep our feet on the ground and staying up is our only objective. The players, coaches, fans, local press and Administrative Council all have to stay patient and have a strong mentality. We have some very hard early fixtures, but results aside, the dynamics are good. I can safely say that neither against Getafe nor Sevilla did Sporting deserve to lose. If you were to ask me about relegation, I’d say there are ten or eleven teams that could be in a similar kind of situation by the end of the championship. So I’m just hoping we can stay up and play top flight football again next season.”

What do they think about Barša and Pep Guardiola in Asturias?

“They see an attractive project. Barša play a lot of good football. They keep the ball moving and that’s always nice for people who love football. And against Numancia and Racing they were much the better side, but football has these things. If they carry on like that, things will start working out and the wins will start coming one after the other.”

Will your heart be divided on Sunday?

“Sorry, but it won’t be. I want Sporting to win. I’m sincere. I’m Asturian, I’m a Sporting man, it’s always been my club and Sporting will need these three points at the end of the season. But I am sure Barša will have more points than they need and will end up winning the league. That would be my ideal situation, for Barša to be league champions and for Sporting to have no problems with the drop. I’d sign for that right now.”

How’s it going as coach of the reserves?

ab2.jpg“Very well. It is a huge challenge for all of us involved in the Sporting youth set-up. The results haven’t been coming so far. We have lost two games and drawn one, but I have a very young team. The oldest is 21 years old, and we have lost points at the end of matches due to that inexperience. But we have to be patient and look at things in the long run, and not lose heart after two or three bad results. I could say the same thing about my friend Guardiola and Barša.”
Photos: Sporting de Gijˇn.
Photos: Sporting de Gijˇn.
League, Cup and Cup Winners Cup
Abelardo played for Barša from 1994/95 to 2002/03. In that time, ‘Pitu’ won two leagues, two Spanish Cups, one Cup Winners Cup and one European Super Cup. When he left FC Barcelona he played for one year at Deportivo AlavÚs in Vitoria before retiring.

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