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07.11.2008 14:29

“Valladolid are an impressive team”

David Puig

Josep Guardiola has highlighted the offensive strength of Real Valladolid as his FC Barcelona team prepare to entertain them on Saturday evening on Saturday night.

Looking ahead to the visit of la Pucela, the Barça trainer stated that their attack was “impressive”. During the press conference on Friday, Guardiola explained why he believes that Valladolid will offer his side a stern test and praised his opposite number, José Luis Mendilibar. “I have always admired the coaches that were not afraid to take risks and liked to play open football and not wait to see what the opposition does,” he explained. “I think that Valladolid are an impressive team and the way they play is good for football. Because of that I think that we will see a good game in on Saturday.”

“Our run of form was not normal”

Barça’s draw against Basel in the Champions League in midweek brought everyone at the club back down to earth after earning plaudits from across the board for the way that that the team has played. Guardiola was keen to stress that Barça’s run was not the norm. “If you look at other big leagues across Europe you will see that it was not usual the way things were going,” he explained. “To win so many games takes a lot and to win three or four is very hard so we have to know that while we have done things well until now, it is very difficult.”

Injuries will be no excuse

03.JPGGuardiola then reflected on the injuries to Iniesta and Abidal and stated that while the squad has cover, two such important players are bound to be missed. “Iniesta is a very good player, but we will have to play without him,” the coach stated. “I am sure that he will come back even better when he recovers and that will be important for him. Abidal is also a vital player for the team and like Carles Puyol, Sylvinho or Víctor Sánchez, each one has their own characteristics and can play in his place. I have alternatives for every player, but I will not be using injuries as an excuse for anything.”

“The fans will keep coming to the stadium”

The Blaugrana coach believes that Camp Nou will be full once again on Saturday because the team is still playing attractive football. “The fixture list is what it is and the opponents are attractive,” he continued. “Nowadays people go less to the cinema, the theatre or to restaurants and also to football, but it is important that we do things well and that people continue to want to come to the stadium. I am convinced that people will keep coming and that Camp Nou wil be full.”
“Valladolid are an impressive team”

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"I would like to be remembered like Rijkaard is”
Pep Guardiola has reiterated his belief that Frank Rijkaard did a great job during his five years in charge of FC Barcelona. “He has been one of the best coaches ever for Barça,” the current trainer said. “I would like it that when I leave that they talk about me in the same way that they walk about Rijkaard. People should not remember only his last two seasons and know that he was not only responsible for them.”

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