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04.11.2008 23:33

“Now we are all in our place”

Jordi Clos

Pep Guardiola has stressed the difficulty of winning games. The Barça manager is delighted to have qualified but was sad to see Andrés Iniesta get injured.

In his press conference after the 1-1 draw with Basel, Pep Guardiola said “I have played for many years and I know that these games are always hard”. The FC Barcelona manager highlighted his players’ attitude and praised them on qualification, but was sorry to see Andrés Iniesta go down with a muscle injury.

The same old story

“Now we are all in our place, where we need to be. It wasn’t normal for us to be achieving so much. We had reached such a dynamic that we didn’t even have to play to win games.” It was precisely what Guardiola had feared after winning eleven games in a row. “If you don’t play well, no matter who you are playing, it’s hard to win. I want to reinforce that message”.

Pleased with attitude and qualification

The Catalan did have positive things to say about the result. “I don’t like drawing, but it is a warning to us all. We have to remember that it’s still November”. At the same time, Pep Guardiola felt his side “had plenty of enthusiasm”, and on passage into the next round said “we have made it through with two games still to play, and that’s positive”.

Iniesta’s injury

One of the issues of most concern to the press was Iniesta’s condition. Guardiola said “it’s bad news for everybody … he is a very important player, but injuries are part of sport and he was the one who got it this time. We’ll try to get him properly recovered”.
“Now we are all in our place”
Laporta: “We achieved our objective”
The Barça president was upset not to have taken all three points at the Camp Nou, but was pleased enough to have qualified. “We have achieved our objective” he said. “Now we will play Sporting for top spot, which is also important.” He then added that “I want to congratulate the players. We have to continue with this intensity and humility. We dominated, but we didn’t have the luck”. Finally, the Barça president mentioned the renewals of Xavi and Sergio Busquets’ contracts, saying “We will make every effort to retain them”.

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