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01.11.2008 22:54

“The players’ quality made all the difference”

Vanessa Forns

After yet another victory, this time on a water-logged pitch, Josep Guardiola believes the key factor was his players’ quality.

FC Barcelona has pulled off a victory in La Rosaleda in a game marked by the water-logged pitch after heavy rain had been falling on Malaga. “The state of the pitch determined the style of play. It wasn’t good for Malaga either, because they are an aggressive team. It was more a game for not making errors than for trying new things. That’s why it was the players’ quality that made all the difference”, said the Barça coach.

Players read the game well

Guardiola stated he was especially happy with the way the team keeps on trying. “I think the players read the game well. We’ve got three more points at the start of November. There’s still a long way to go”. The coach also praised his players’ ability to adapt to the poor playing conditions.

Game conditioned by poor state of pitch

The Barça coach believed this Saturday’s game in La Rosaleda was “more even” than other recent games, and he added that “we were very limited by poor state of pitch”.

Praise for Malaga
Guardiola praised Antonio Tapia’s team as powerful: “Malaga played well here against Valencia, and they have been ahead against other opponents. It’s not easy to get four wins in a row in La Liga, but Malaga have done it. I’m satisfied with the way we took on a physically strong team capable of a sharp counter-attack”.

A large squad

The team obviously had to put up a fight to win the game. Guardiola is convinced the players will recover in time for Tuesday’s clash in Nou Camp against Basle. He also stated he could rely on other players “if we have to make any changes”.

Without comparison

Finally, Guardiola wouldn’t be drawn into valuing the changes he has made since he took over from Frank Rijkaard: “I’m always being asked this. We have to remember that Rijkaard achieved great things, and contributed to making Barça what it is today. And he did win La Liga and the Champions League. I wasn’t here then – I can only comment on the present”.
“The players’ quality made all the difference”
Training at 12:00 on Sunday
The first team squad will train on Sunday at 12:00. The session will be used to help the players regain their strength from the game in La Rosaleda, as well as to begin preparations for Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Basle in Nou Camp.

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