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31.10.2008 14:36

Guardiola wary of Malaga danger

Berta Brau

Pep Guardiola has his mind firmly set on Saturday’s game with Malaga, which he expects to be “very tough due to the quality of the opposition, the way they play and the ground … we have to stay humble and stick to the same values”.

The Barça manager is aware that Malaga are a dangerous opponent , saying “this is a new test, a new game.” He feels the ten-match winning streak “is a thing of the past” and that “there is no sense in resting on our laurels”.

A tough game

Guardiola is convinced that Malaga “will be coming out to score goals, to be aggressive and to play direct football, and they have good players that take care over their strategy”. He feels his team has to stick to its principles and thus prevent things from getting any more complicated than they have to be.

Faith in the side

311008_entrenament_x11x.jpgGuardiola repeated what he has said several times of late in reference to it being in games like these that Barça have a tradition of slipping up. “Experience shows that these are the games we find difficult and I think we have to treat them with the right kind of importance” he said, while also denying that this means he fears his players might pay the price for getting over-confident. “Until now I have no reason to believe that to be the case. It is my obligation to warn them about it but I have no doubts about my players”.

Room for improvement

The Barça manager agrees that “there are always things you can do better” although right now he is concentrating on “specific and individual aspects, such as loss of concentration”. But Guardiola said he was generally satisfied with “the players’ behaviour, especially the way they get down to work”.

An eye on Basel

311008_guardiola.jpgJust three days after the game at La Rosaleda, Barça entertain Basel in a Champions League group game, where they have the chance to seal mathematical qualification for the knockout stages. Despite their convincing win at Saint Jacobs Park ( 0-5 ) Guardiola doesn’t think Wednesday’s game will be a simple matter. “Basel will be hard because of how we won there. I am treating that game as an important one because we can clinch mathematical qualification and the teams we have to play after, Sporting and Shakhtar, are teams to worry about”.
Guardiola wary of Malaga danger

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Pre-match activities
Guardiola ratified what Leo Messi said on Thursday about publicity and other non-football activities before matches. “The players have known from the start that it is me who gives permission to do publicity and they can’t do anything on the two days before a match”.

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