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08.12.2008 15:01

Guardiola: “The Shakhtar game will be really useful”

Edgar Fornós

Although Barça’s final Champions League group game with Shakhtar Donetsk is a dead rubber, it’s not a pointless match for manager Josep Guardiola.

Guardiola is using the game against the Ukrainians to rest some players and also to fine tune a style of football which is winning fans everywhere. “The Shakhtar game will be really useful,” he said. “For starters we’ll see if we can continue doing the things we’re doing well at the moment, plus I’ll get a look at players who so far have played less to see if I should use them more.”

Shakhtar pose problems

08-12-08_WEB_GUARDIOLA_01.jpgGuardiola knows that Shakhtar will be tough opponents as they have given the Catalans some of their biggest problems in the Champions League this term. “They are an aggressive team with top players throughout the side,” he commented. “They’ve spent a lot to get a competitive team and they’re getting good results despite a poor start to the campaign.”

Pleased with players’ commitment

Josep Guardiola is proud of the commitment and effort of his players. “It’s the talent in the squad and especially their desire and attitude in every game which have got us to where we are today,” he argued. “I’m pleased to see players who switch between the first team and the reserves like Víctor Sánchez and Pedro being equally enthusiastic in First Division games and in Second Division B games,” he said. “That shows how involved they are in the team.”
Guardiola: “The Shakhtar game will be really useful”

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Doesn’t believe Schuster
Although he only wanted to answer questions about Barça’s Champions League game, Josep Guardiola did say he isn’t taking Real Madrid for granted: “If we aren’t on top form on Saturday they could beat us.”

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